Wednesday, October 4, 2023

When you are in The Zone your mind goes to Hibiscus Flowers

Funny where your mind goes when you're in the zone.

See I have been doing endurance workouts for so long that I tell people I never get out of the "Runner's High".   This morning was a 20.13 mile bike ride. says it's 32.4 km. 

When I first started working out, it was in college.  My parents did not really understand why I started at all, but I did.  I would get tired walking up a three block hill to the dorms.  Tired was a code word for Asthma.

To this day I am convinced that my asthma was from sitting on the couch and never really exercising my lungs as well as having allergies from dust to cats to who knows what else. 

Making it a point to cut out of the diet anything that was perceived to be unhealthy, I eventually got things to a science.  That includes finding out what I needed to eat and drink to lose weight.  75 pounds during the four years I was at campus.  Having the gym was a god send, I was able to work through some severe injuries and by the time I graduated and moved out, I was able to run 10km 3 times a week at Valley Forge National Park near my home in Pennsylvania.

If you are familiar with the place, there is this one hill I was proud of being able to run up.  The trail has a 30% grade.  All this from a kid who was picked last for any sport in school, and pretty much rightfully so.  The Any Size Fits All approach to public education in Cherry Hill NJ meant you did what the meat of the bell curve would do whether you could do it or not.

Can you tell I hated what passed for "Gym Class" in school?  Colossal waste of time for me.  I asked for weightlifting, I was told to run around outside.  Give up.

It really isn't "Why can't Johnny learn" it is more like "Why can't teacher teach". 

So taking life into my own hands I have had a lifetime of sports that I can do "all my life".  Biking was today, but I am within 500 miles of Inline Skating once around the world at the equator worth of distance.  Lifetime goal of 25,000 miles.

To paraphrase Peter Griffin on Family Guy "Left Foot, Right Foot, Eventually you get somewhere".

As I was riding around town in large 4 mile circles, of course my mind drifted through all that.  "On Yer Left!" I announced more than once as I rode past people and it wasn't even sunrise yet.

A beautiful experience, riding a bike through your chosen city as the sun comes up.  The clouds shifting from black to grey, through the rainbow, to white.  The sun painting the skies blue, the trees sway in the breezes, the parrots chattering in the trees.

Eventually people woke and went about their day and I continued riding around in large lazy circles.  Pausing for a cookie on the seats in front of City Hall, I met with others.  I acted like a fool dressed in technicolor polyester.  Cooling down for that break, I get back out for two more large lazy circles. 

You would think that you get tired but there's a dissociative aspect to being on an endurance workout.  I was on the bike actively for more than an hour and a half.  I knew that the body needed a rest, but I did not feel the pain or discomfort.  It was more like I was observing it from the outside.  When I am on the skates and get into this zone, I call it "Skate: The Movie".  Literally you disconnect and watch that body of yours roll through its paces.  Sure you are tired, but you don't "Feel Tired".  

But you do slow down.  I try to keep the speed at a good pace.  The little man who announces in the headphones tells me my heart rate, and I am aware of good bad or indifferent.  I perform well over what a doctor thinks is where my heart should be at for someone of "My Age".  That average has been as high as 160, within the last week, when I am at the better trail, around town I have to slow down and the average today was down to 145.

Like a speedometer in traffic I guess.

While all that is going on I am thinking "What will I write" "Do I have any pictures?" and other things completely disconnected from the task at hand.

I figure that Hibiscus picture is new, I'll use that.  It's pretty and I like it.

Riding through the traffic I notice that the high school drop offs have stopped, and it is late.  I get a text that recycling was picked up, which is a shame since I didn't put it out. 

But all said and done, it's a good day to get your butt off the couch and burn 1500 calories.  A bit light, if it were on skates that would be 2100 calories - biking is easier than skating is due to mechanical advantages.

Biking is good for cross training.  Inline skating will overbuild your outside fibers of your legs, biking will balance that out by building the center fibers.  They do work well together, and had I known that while competitively riding 100 miles per week, I would have been better at my sport.

Oh well, Live and Learn.  When all is said and done, it's time for more coffee and more flower pictures.

1 comment:

  1. Well done, you! My happy place is the hydro pool. Em.