It’s hard to get a good ride in – especially on a day like today. I’ve parked my car at Mum’s. That way, if I need to get anywhere, I have to ride. Burn some calories. I’ve forced myself into an exercise regimen in the same way I fill the fridge with veggies and fruit. Wanna ride? Take the bike. Wanna eat? There’s only healthy stuff. You have to corner the animal that is man. Trick him into eating healthy and exercising. Take away his choice. For his own good.
Mum’s gone away and it’s my job to feed Shandy (a cat). Shandy doesn’t like me and I don’t like her. So she’s . . . “a cat.” One who needs feeding every morning – and because Mum is luxuriating at a hotel swimming pool in Thailand (according to her SMS – which additionally read, “Have you upgraded my computer to Windows 7, yet?”) feeding the cat is a good opportunity to get a one hour ride in. Exercise every day. Just one hour. A good plan.
So I’m marking Uni assignments, keeping an eye on the enemy wind outside. 9am. 10am. The cat will be having “brunch” at this rate. Getting through these papers ever so bloody slowly. No motivation what – so – ever. Waiting for the wind to subside so I can go for my unwanted ride to feed an unloved cat. Emailing, marking. As I’m working, the fly-screen literally blows off my windows. I’m not going out in that! More marking . . . Midday. 1pm. 2pm. I’m eating a big slice of meatloaf for lunch. Shandy should be eating, too. Uh oh. Dark clouds. Can’t go yet. Where’s the sun?
More marking and finally – I’d better make a move or it’ll be too dark.
So I get ready – which as you know for a cyclist – is a bit of a rigmarole. Gloves, helmet, glasses, iPod. Wallet, keys, backpack for milk on the way home etc. I wear shorts and a T-shirt, so if I get wet, I can just chuck ’em in the wash later. I start riding – into Perth’s strongest headwind ever. Then . . . It starts raining. Not much – but enough to speckle my glasses. I’m wet and traveling South at maybe 14kmh – just to feed a bloody cat which will probably sink its teeth into me. At least I’m burning of that huge bit of meatloaf.
I usually hate advertising, but Nike’s “Just Do It” really sums up today. I pretty much “Just didn’t do it!” all day.
While I’m riding, something comes over me. A familiar feeling. The friendly endorphins. Maybe I’ve been depressed. I go faster. I even start weaving a bit. Ducking through windy eddies. Avoiding puddles. Forgetting to indicate! My body actually enjoys riding. It doesn’t care about the wet wind. It just wants to fang a bike around using its legs and arms and go fast up hills and stuff.
I’m basically . . . an animal. Like Shandy.
Shandy wolfs down her meal. Poor thing. She was at the door, crying for her . . . well . . . now it’s “brinner.”
I close up shop and get back on the bike. Tangerine Dream on the pod. My reward? I hardly have to pedal. Clicking along at around 30kmh, I’m now powered by a new friend. The wind.
So Nike was right. It’s not the ride that’s the pain. It’s the procrastination.
Your animal self will love the exercise bit. Even if you don’t.