Friday, March 31, 2006

The Land Whale Awakes

The only thing that keeps me going on these early season ole fat guy coming off winter bike rides is the knowledge that if I can just suffer through the next 3 or 4 weeks, I will actually start having a blast again on a bike. But right now, every pedal stroke is pain and discomfort as I haul around the 25 extra pounds I gained over the winter.

I am enjoying the rides. The wheezing and atrophied lard laced muscular torture does have a damping effect. I am a slug right now trying to evolve into a butterfly. Well, a faster slug anyway. I have turned a corner. I rode most of the upstrokes. I didn't puke. I guess there is a cyclist in here somewhere afterall. Hmm. Cyclist might be assuming a grander image than the reality. I am just a guy who rides a bike. In three weeks I will be a thinner guy who rides a bike. Still a slug, the group sweep.

I was in my late 30's or early 40's when I started to notice a bit more of me in the Spring than there was in the Fall. That faster high octane metabolism had been replaced by a slower and more sedate energy consumption. I still had the appetite of that young and numb calorie burner. The Big Macs stopped passing through and began to settle in for the long run. I had supersized me.

The first few Springs of supersized Mike bothered me. I agonized about the lard and the tight jeans. I toyed with creating the "Fat" wardrobe to go with the "Skinny" wardrobe. But then I remembered I really have never concerned myself about how I looked. Why start now? So I didn't. I used the torture of squeezing myself into pants too tight as an incentive to lose the winter belly roll. The only problem is each year the feasibility of actually pouring myself into that summer wardrobe began to fade. The time it took to lose the weight stretched from March and April into June and beyond. One summer, I only lost a total of 5 pounds the whole summer. I was miserable. I spent the summer hovering around 180. Now 10 years later, 180 seems like the impossible dream. I'd be happy to make it down to a svelte 190.

So another rite of Spring has begun. Like the birds flying north, the crocus poking up through the leaves, another land whale begins to shake off his hibernating barco lounging sad self.