Ride For Autism
This past Saturday was the long discussed Ride for Autism. After worrying about the weather and the dealing with drenching rains on Friday, Saturday dawned overcast but dry. The road dried quickly and by the start of the ride at 8:00 AM the roads were in good shape and ready for the riders.
Though I had planned on riding 62 miles, we cut it short to 55 when threatening weather convinced my riding companion and I that discretion was the better part of…. Well, staying dry. As it turned out, the threatening sky gave up only a few drops of rain.
It was a fun ride and the company was great. There were many enthusiastic riders, all doing their part to raise money for Autism research.
A personal note: thank you to all who donated to the cause. I am truly grateful.
The nice thing for was that come Sunday morning I was in great shape and felt no effects from the ride.
I am now certain that I am ready for my first century ride and I am looking for the right opportunity.
For no Particular Reason: A True Story from my Youth
I was seven years old.
My brothers and I went down to the river that winds its way through town. I was not then (nor am I now) a strong swimmer. We all took turns swinging from a vine out over the water, letting go and splashing down in to the water. Great fun on a summer day.
My brothers, bigger and stronger than I was, were able to swing out further and higher and were able to make bigger splashes. Being the competitive little fellow I was I gave it my all and with a great running leap and grab I swung out over the river just as high and far as my brothers had. I made a great splash and started to swim back to shore. It was then that the current decided to take a hold of me and pull me along down the river. I was not a strong enough swimmer to overcome the pull of the river as my brothers could. The river was taking me and I began to panic. I can still remember my oldest brother running along the shore trying to figure out how to get to me as the river pulled me further away and out towards the middle.
I remember thinking that I was going to die. I was 7 and I was sure that death had me. And I was frightened.
And then, very suddenly, strong arms lifted me out of the water. I remember my arm being grabbed and I remember flying out of the water and landing in a canoe in the arms of a man with a beard. He and his canoe mate had seen me, paddled over and saved my life. A simple act with profound ramification for my family, for people I would not meet for decades, for my children yet to be…
The canoeists paddled me over to the shore and I climbed out. Wobbly knees and still frightened and confused I thanked him and my brothers thanked him. He scolded us for playing in the river that way.
We walked on home with my brothers eliciting solemn oaths from me to NEVER tell our parents. Too late. The canoeists beached their canoe and followed us by car up the hill to our home and told my mother what had happened. I remember my mother thanking him and his friend with hugs and teary eyes.
I thought my mother would finish what the river started. I was wrong. She hugged me tightly, more tightly than I can ever remember being hugged before and rarely since. Of course she also grounded me for a week…
I don’t know The canoeists name. Never did know it. If my mother knew it she took the name with her when she passed away
I would like to thank him. I hope he has told the story and received approving comments and pats on the back from those listening.
This Journey of mine…
This has all been painful. Holding myself out to anyone who happens across this blog. Exposing my scars, my bleeding wounds. The traumas of 52 years of living a hairbreadth away from spinning wildly out of control. Ripping open barely healed scar tissue.
I have pushed myself in ways I could not have imagined two years ago. I have sat at this computer and dug deeply to find the reasons I became fat, lazy and detached. I have sat here and tried to understand what happened to the 17-year old with boundless energy and untapped potential. I looked hard to find the remnants of that boy in the man starting the journey.
I started in a deep depression. I consciously and aggressively fought the depression. I forced myself out of the hole. I forced myself, one step at a time, literally and figuratively, to climb the mountain.
I got up there. Battered, exhausted and in pain but I got there. I climbed the hills with PGB and MT and I climbed my emotional mountains each and every day. I tried to keep a positive outlook and I tried to write about this journey in an uplifting way to keep my spirits up.
This has been a fight. A fight I was never quit sure I would win or even be around for at the end.
When I was 35, one week before my 36th birthday, long before I reached my heaviest, I was lying in the hospital with an out of control heart beat. My blood pressure was sky rocketing. My heart was throwing in extra beats and I the doctors were certain they would find blockages when they rushed me in for cardiac catheterization. Nothing. Wide open arteries. Lose weight, get fit, take these pills and start taking care of yourself.
Fourteen years later….
So I started the Journey a little late.
When I started it I went all in. I stripped naked to the world and said HERE IT IS.
It all factored in. I wanted to have the wrong foods. I wanted to have a PB&J. I wanted to throw in the towel more than a few times. I wanted to go back to my comfort zone. As much as I hated being fat I know HOW to be fat. I was me. It was who I was. I could hide. I could be that person. I was easy. “no, would love to but I am so out of shape…” “Yes I will have that extra helping. See how easy it is to have me as a guest/ I will eat anything and everything and in large quantities.”
Do you understand? Being fat was physically uncomfortable but emotionally familiar and safe. I hated being fat but it was easy. It was safer to stay fat then risk failure (again) trying to become lean.
Do you know? Do you see what a risk this blog has been? I am out there. If I failed you would all see it. You would see ME. The failure. ME. It would be so easy to stay hidden. Stay fat. Stay behind the wall.
I have climbed a mountain here. I did it in full view. I climbed El Capitan on Wide World of Sports with Jim McKay breathlessly describing every misstep.
I don’t say my Journey has been unique or for all that it is, all that impressive when there are those who have lost twice as much weight or more than I have and have done it in the public eye.
But it has been MY journey. All mine. My unique issues and tribulations. My fears, my pain, my anxieties and my insecurities.
And tonight, as I fought the temptations that I fight almost every day, I remembered that I am still climbing this mountain and I held on. I gripped the rock and the rope while Jim McKay described the howling winds.. Soon the wind died down and soon it calm again. And I was fine. I didn’t give in. I didn’t have the extra serving or the large snack or dig in to the jar of peanut butter.
This is it. See? It never gets easy. It never passes completely.
So I write about it. I talk about it. I put it out there and I ask people to pass judgment on me.
Today I am 203 pounds.
Tomorrow maybe more. Maybe less.
By the weekend probably 200. Then who knows. And every day I will step on the scale. And every day I will record the weight in my spread sheet. And every day I will record every calories, every bit of food.
And I will keep climbing the mountain.
Thank you for reading this wild, rambling, stream of consciousness ramble..