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.
I promised myself, this winter would be different. I wouldn’t fall behind on all my normal activities and hibernate. I’d keep riding my bike. I’d keep in touch with friends. I wouldn’t let the cold keep be indoors. I would write in my journal. I’d write on this blog.
Pretty much none of that happened. It’s March 1st and the last time I wrote for Steady.org was in November, around Thanksgiving. I haven’t been on my bike since October. What the fuck have I been doing?
Predictably, the month of December was a mad house. One thing about being in a pre-sales engineering role for work is that the end of the year matters. Work was busy. The days were shorter. The darkness crept in and blamo, it was full on winter blues even if I didn’t recognize it.
Then there was Christmas, and Mr. Grey’s birthday is two days after Christmas. So pretty much that week was shot. Next came our company sales kick off meetings, and an unusually active January and February as far as work goes. Suddenly, it’s March 1st and I don’t really know where the time went.
On the positive side, I have started using a Jawbone UP24 and now know a bit more about myself. For example, if I have an appointment that’s an hour away from my home and I don’t deliberately walk, I may only get 2000 steps in that day. And if I am left to my own, I’ll sleep 8.5 hours a night or even longer.
Today, as I was walking my 3 mile walk to get some steps in, I passed a biker on the B&A trail and it dawned on me that I should have gone out for a ride. It’s not going to happen today, but maybe I can get myself to get up and move toward the bike in the morning. If I don’t, it will be at least another week as we’re about to get pummeled with 8–12 inches of snow here in Maryland.
Thanksgiving is probably my most favorite holiday of the year. It’s about giving thanks, being with family and most definitely food!
When I was a child, my mother hosted most of the Thanksgiving meals. I have fond memories of Mom and Dad putting together the stuffing early in the morning and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in my pajamas. Later, the family would start to arrive and the house would fill with people. Mom-mom and Pop-pop. Uncle Danny and Aunt Sue. Uncle David and Aunt Debbie. Grandma Jennie and Grandpa Tony. Later, cousins Pat and Brennie. On rare occasions we might get the Germans — Uncle Michael, Aunt Kerstin, Cousins Gabby, Marc and Evan as well as Uncle Arthur, Aunt Gailee and cousin Christopher — if not there was the phone call. Many of those people are no longer with us, but I remember them fondly and while there’s a twinge of sadness, it’s mostly happy memories that come back to my mind.
After marrying Mrs. TKD in 2004 I started hosting Thanksgiving. We’ve had it more often than not and somehow this feels right to me. I’m carrying on the traditions from when I was a child and giving them to Mr. Grey. We’re also creating new traditions. Somethings are the same but some are different. He’d rather watch Iron Man than the parade, and that’s okay. Unlike Mom, I only have one brother so the house sometimes didn’t always seem as full as it was when I was younger, but that’s changed as more small mouths have shown up at the table. At times, we’ve had friends as well as family over for Thanksgiving and that’s always been wonderful. Even if folks don’t make the main meal there have been times when extended family and friends have stopped in for desert. So the house generally feels fuller now than it once did.
This year, it looks like it will be family – though you friends who have the invitation are still welcome – Mom, Frank and Guinness and the kids, and Papa will be in attendance. The house will be crazy with representation from a wide range of ages (3 – 73) – the open floor-plan ensures that noise will carry from one room to another. And in the midst of the whirlwind, I’ll be cooking. I truly can’t wait, I thrive on it.
So, here’s the menu:
Roast Turkey — basted with white wine & butter
Grandpa Gibbons Stuffing – the secret is bacon fat
Mashed Potatoes Collard Greens Gratin
Mr. Swanson’s Green Beans – sautéed in bacon fat (again)
Sauerkraut and Kielbasa – it’s a Baltimore thing
Cranberry Orange Slaw – Mrs. TKD’s annual contribution. Who knew orange rinds were edible? Nantucket Cranberry Pie