I recently mentioned that I have been looking for a hobby that I can invest in long-term. An outlet of sorts. My criteria were that it be healthy (measurable), affordable (somewhat discounting start-up expenses), and in the context of community (as an option if desired).
Health being my chief-concern. I found myself, in May, to be at my heaviest. I was heading in the wrong direction. Even though I had been consistently going to the gym (at least five days a week for over six years), I was not making any real and lasting progress.
So many friends began saying the same thing… the last bit of advice that I wished to ever receive. Why not try cycling? To be honest, I did not have a good answer. My father has been an avid participant in the sport for over twenty-five years. He rides at least forty-miles a day (even at seventy-years of age). I do not mean any disrespect or dishonor. There are characteristics of our fathers that we could not be more proud of (for which there are many qualities that my father has that I want to replicate). But for some unexplained reason, there are also those aspects that we resist – that we have little to no interests in. Maybe it is an issue of independence – a desire to forge our own way?
Then there is the sport itself. The clothing (the shorts). The danger (my father has had far too many injuries to count – many quite serious). The crowd (it seems a bit difficult to break into). The challenge (to learn anything takes work – but is the effort worth it?).
So about six months ago, I quietly took up cycling – aiming to give it six weeks. I hated it in the beginning. And then I hated it while I rode but loved how I felt afterwards. Then I began enjoying the progress – wanting to ride longer and faster every day. Not only have I seen improvement in my performance but also in my appearance. I have lost twenty pounds in just six months – just three away from my lowest in five years and fifteen to go until my target (my college weight). Last month I did the unthinkable when I canceled my gym membership. I am all in – for at least a year. Let’s see where this takes us, shall we?
I admit that the equipment is a bit more expensive than I initially thought. For example, I am currently borrowing a bike. It is not the right side – so let me know if you find a starter model that is 61cm on Craigslist. Follow my progress and share any helpful insight.