Welcome to my blog! This blog is a tool that I am using in an effort to lose weight. My hope is that by publicly tracking my weight and my efforts to reduce it, I will do just that. However, there is more to my life than just trying to lose weight. Along the way, I will share some of that also. Thanks for reading.

About Me

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South Jordan, Utah
I am the husband of one,and the father of four. Most days I even like them all. I love them every day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Riding With Heidi

Today I had a chance to ride with Heidi.  It's something that doesn't happen very often.  Doesn't happen enough.  With four full time kids, it's hard to find a couple of hours where we can both be gone at the same time.  Today was that day.  Thanks Austin, for watching Chase and giving us this time.

Riding with Heidi brings with it both good and bad.

I'll start with the good.
  • She's prettier than I am.  This is very important, very good.  When people see us riding together they tend to focus their attention more on the pretty lady.  They want to rest their eyes on someone who is obviously in good shape.  Her toned, athletic body, draws peoples attention away from me.  When I ride by myself, they realize that an overweight man has attempted to stuff himself into skin tight clothing and is riding a bike. 
  • She makes me give a full effort.  When I'm riding with Heidi, I have to work hard the whole time.  There's no casual riding.  Maybe for her.  But, I have to ride hard in order to stay with her.  There are occasions where I will be thinking to myself, "I probably wouldn't be riding this hard if I was by myself".  Heidi motivates me to get the most out of my rides.
  • She carries two extra tubes.  Usually these aren't needed, but it's nice to know they're there.  On one of our rides I flatted 3 times in about a one mile distance.  If I had been by myself on that ride, I would have been calling her to come pick me up after the third flat. 
And now the bad of riding with Heidi.
  • She's pretty.  What could be bad about riding with a pretty woman?  Sometimes I get temporarily distracted.  Luckily I have always managed to snap out of it before slamming into a parked car or crashing off the side of the road.  She looks really good in a pair of bike shorts.
  • She makes me give a full effort.  Riding with Heidi requires manly riding, macho riding.  I can't let her see me tired and struggling.  I have to appear as though I am ready to sprint for that next sign at any time.  I can't let her see me breathing hard, on the verge of crying.  There is no slacking, no free spinning on these rides.  There is no crying in cycling!
  • I'm riding with a girl.  Not just any girl, I'm riding with Heidi.  The problem with riding with a girl falls in line with having to give a full effort.  If I fall too far behind her, people laugh as they drive by in their cars.  "Did you see how bad that girl was beating that guy?" "Was he crying?" "What was that face he was pulling?" "He didn't look like he was having very much fun" "Probably wishing that he had stayed home to sneak another donut when she wasn't there to see."  But Heidi isn't just another girl.  Maybe if they knew her they would understand and quit laughing at me.  Last month Heidi rode her first century (100 mile) bike ride with some of her friends. The next weekend she competed in the Daybreak Triathlon, winning her age division and placing 5th overall.
    Riding in the Little Red Century Ride June 4, 2011
    Podium finish for age group at Daybreak Triathlon June 11, 2011

    On our ride today, Heidi wanted me to take her on a ride that I have done a couple times the last week.  It's a good ride that is close to home, and has some pretty good little climbs.  Of course she wants a ride with climbs.  She knows that 110 pounds on a bike are a lot easier to move up a hill than 220 pounds are.  Once again, there would be no slacking today.

    We rode over and climbed above Blackridge Reservoir in Herriman, then climbed to the top of Rose Canyon.  Heidi has been feeling a little sick the last couple of days, and after coming down out of Rose Canyon she decided to return home.  I continued around to Copperton and back home through West Jordan.  It was a very windy, very hot, 42 miles of fun. 

    Thanks Heidi for riding with me.  You're the best riding partner I could ask for.  You push me hard and you don't mind being with me in public when I'm in my bike shorts.

    Click This Link For Details Of Todays Ride

    Leon Huntsman moved $2.51 to World Bicycle Relief funded by SRAM with Blackridge-Rose Canyon-Copperton Loop:

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    A Fresh Start

    I've been thinking for some time that I should get this blog thing going again.  While it does take some time to keep up to date, and I am by nature a lazy person, it is nice to look back on things that have happened in the lives of my family.

    As far as my weight is concerned, that being the main reason that I started this blog, I think it's probably about where it was when I started.  I haven't even checked it since the last time I reported it on this blog.  Probably out of fear of what I might find.  I was actually doing pretty well, too.  The blog was doing what I had hoped that it would.  But remember, I am a lazy person.  The blog was taking a lot of time, a lot of late nights.  And the ice fishing was soooo good.  I started spending more of my time fishing, and less time exercising.  And before long, my routine had been broken.

    But now, a fresh start.

    Last week I found something new to help motivate me to exercise.  I follow a blog called The Fat Cyclist.  It's written by a local guy who, like all great men that are overweight, started writing his blog to help him lose weight.  A few years ago his wife was stricken with cancer and would end up losing her battle.  During her fight they began raising money for Livestrong, an effort that he continues today.  He has a lot of readers and has managed to raise a lot of money.

    Last week we started raising money for an additional cause, World Bicycle Relief. This organization raises money to provide bikes for kids in Africa. Each $134 that is raised, provides someone with a bike.  These bikes have changed so many lives.  They help kids get to, and finish school.  A lot of kids drop out of school because they are located so far away.  It is figured that 12 lives are positively changed for each bike that is placed.  More details can be found at world bicycle relief.  It really is an amazing effort.

    So how do I help them raise money?  I ask all my friends to send me money, that I then send to them.  And I have the BEST friends.  Friends that are always willing to help out a good cause.  You can do that if you want, but it's actually much easier than that.  All I do is exercise.  That's it.  I don't have to donate any of my own money, and I don't have to ask my friends to donate any of theirs.  I just do what I'm already doing.  After exercising, I download my exercise details onto the computer and depending on how hard my workout was, I earn a certain amount of kudos.  For each kudo that I earn, SRAM donates 1.5 cents to World Bicycle Relief.  Each of my workouts have been worth about $1.50, so far.  I started last Monday and as of today have earned just over $11.  My goal is to earn enough to buy 3 bikes this year, or roughly $1/day.

    Today I went for a bike ride to the top of American Fork Canyon.  It was so hot here in the valley that it made sense to get a little higher.  I prefer to ride the canyon on weekdays as there is less traffic to worry about.  It proved to be the perfect day to ride the canyon.

    As I entered the canyon, I saw something that gave me immediate concern.  Another cyclist was starting his ride right behind me.  So, I'm in front, and there is no way that I can let him pass me.  I'm feeling the pressure as I am just hammering the pedals.  I don't dare look back to see where he is, because then he will know that I am trying to stay in front of him.  That will just make him pedal harder, resulting in more work for myself.  In an effort to maintain my machoness, I just keep looking forward and mashing the pedals.  Good thing I was feeling strong today.

    A couple of miles up the canyon, a new concern began to develop.  Being the hot day that it was, I had been drinking a lot.  And now, that fluid needed to come out.  That's one nice thing about riding American Fork Canyon, frequent bathrooms.  But if I stopped, this would give the other guy in the race a chance to pass me.  And we were racing, even if he didn't know it.  At the same time, by stopping I would have an excuse to look behind me.  And when I did, I saw nothing.  In fact, I didn't see him for the rest of my ride. I WON!

    The rest of my ride up the canyon was very much a victory lap.  A very hard victory lap.  It was 12 miles to the top and I would climb over 3400 feet.  On most of my bike rides I will burn around 100 calories each mile.  After the 12 miles of climbing today, I had burned 2621 calories.  It was hard, but I was winning.  I now had the road to myself.

    While the climbing was hard, it was enjoyable.  I enjoy climbing, feeling like I just can't go any further, but somehow finding a way to keep the pedals moving.  Each pedal stroke today brought fear with it.  After crashing on a descent last summer, I still get scared when it comes to riding downhill when any speed is involved.  This was clearly going to be a very fast descent.  I would face my fears, and I would Win The Day.  I was soon at the summit. I had won!

    Click This Link For A Detailed Look At My Ride

    Leon Huntsman moved $1.46 to World Bicycle Relief funded by SRAM with American Fork Canyon