A few weeks ago, a good friend posted something to the effect of “Why does the horse always look so much bigger when you’re trying to get back on it?” on his Facebook page. I “Liked” it as did so many other folks, because, well it’s funny and it’s true.
Somewhere over the past, oh I don’t know, six to seven months, I really fell off the horse. Perhaps this is evidenced by the fact that I’ve not posted anything on this site since March. Or perhaps it’s better evidenced by the fact that I didn’t ride my bike for 2 months straight after my MS ride in July. Or perhaps by the fact that I stopped paying attention to my weight, and ballooned to an all time high of nearly an eighth of a Ton. (That’s 250 pounds folks).
The list of things that I should be doing but haven’t been is as long as the list of things that I should not be doing but have been is short.
Rather than bare my soul with a gut wrenching list of my failures, I’ll just list out some things that I am now working on.
- Eating a whole foods diet. My doctor recommended that I look into the “Paleo Diet” and while I was pretty skeptical of it, after reading the book it seems to make a lot of sense. I’m trying it out. Basically, what it has come down to for me is no wheat and no dairy. It’s a lot of lean animal protein, veggies and fruits. As Michael Pollan says, “Eat Food, Not too much, Mostly Plants.”
- Getting some exercise again. Last spring I ended up at the doctor’s office and ultimately in 3 months of physical therapy because of lower back pain. PT did wonders, but I foolishly stopped doing the exercises after PT officially ended. And so, back pain came back into my life. Walking, and cycling need to be on the list of things to do.
- Acupuncture. I regularly went to get acupuncture for about 3 years to treat migraine headaches. Thankfully, I haven’t had many migraines, but I haven’t been going to get acupuncture and I miss it. Even if I’m not having headaches, 45 minutes of relaxation a week is probably a good thing to add to my routine.
- Cutting down on the booze. This pretty much goes hand in hand with getting a good diet going. There are so many reasons to cut down. Lots of unnecessary calories. Lack of presence.
- Reading and writing. It’s time to start reading again and to start writing again. Most likely that means putting some stuff on this site.
Yeah, that’s a big horse. I’m gonna get back on it and if I fall off, well, I’ll get back on it again.
Recently a friend of mine asked me to contribute to a list of things we wished we’d known at 13 for a boy who is about to turn 13.
Here’s what I came up with:
Things I wish I’d known at 13
- For every person who breaks your heart, there is likely someone who you’ve heart-broken.
- Shined shoes are one way potential employers judge whether you’d be the right person for the job.
- Everyone is delicate on the inside. Treat everyone you meet with the respect you’d expect them to show you.
- Life is not fair, don’t expect it to be.
- Don’t expect that people will do what you expect of them. Very often they won’t meet your expectations. Accept that they are doing as best they can, and you don’t know what’s going on in their lives that may be impacting them.
- You won’t meet others expectations all the time either.
- Some days you won’t have it in you to do your best, that’s okay too. Pick up where you left off and give it your best the next day.
- Nothing fixes a bad day like laughing. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh.
- Eat breakfast every day.
- Don’t smoke. Anything. Ever. It will kill you.
- Some things you won’t understand until you are much older. Some things you may never understand. That’s okay, too.
- That girl (or boy) you want to kiss but are afraid to…Just give them a kiss. You might be surprised. (Or embarrassed, but embarrassment fades quickly and you’ll never know until you try.)
- When you find the person who is the love of your life, you will know it. There may be people you think are “The One”. There may be people you convince yourself are “The One.” These people may not be “The One.” But when you meet the person who you love and can live with forever, you will know it. It may take years to find that person.
- There are many paths to “success,” your job is to find the one that suits you the best.
- “Success” does not = $
- “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish”
Ever feel like your legs are made of lead? That’s how I felt today. I went for the first ride of 2014, a full 147 days after my last ride of 2013. I struggled with 8.1 miles. Minor bumps in the landscape felt like impossible ascents. It is clear that the last few months of not biking have taken a toll on my stamina.
But, it was the first day back on the bike. It was the first step of the journey. If I keep it up, by April these pains and frustrations will begin to fade. By May, I’ll be back in reasonable form. And by June, I’ll be riding effortlessly.
That’s the plan. I’m sticking to it.