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!