Day 1 of the rest of my life
She’d made up her mind. Enough already! She couldn’t just sit there and take whatever mother nature threw at her. No! She was determined to win this war, one battle at a time. This would be no Pyrrhic victory. The only losses by which this victory would be offset would be the weight she wanted to get rid of anyway. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, that it would take everything she had and more to keep fighting but she was resolute in her decision.
Kitted out in her cycling gear, complete with helmet, she put on her ear phones and wheeled her bicycle down the drive. She gingerly lowered her already slightly sore behind on to the saddle and set out, the intrepid cyclist. She’d set herself a 10-mile target for today. The first couple of miles of the ride were along the pavements of busy streets. She never really felt inclined to cycle on the roads as she didn’t trust the other road users to notice her on time and shuddered to think about the consequences of that.
Maintaining a steady pace and pedalling in time to the dulcet tones of Luther Vandross, DBanj, Tosin Martins and the other artists recorded on her phone, she enjoyed the sensation of the wind behind her, pushing her along to accomplish her goal. She was in great spirits.
As she arrived at the foot of “the path”, she knew the real journey was about to begin and steeled herself to navigate the route. In keeping with rambler and cyclist etiquette, she nodded in acknowledgement to the other path users as she whizzed past them singing along to some of the tunes playing on her handset.
The bike ate up the miles and she felt on top of the world. This weight loss and keeping fit malarkey was not so bad after all! She crossed the halfway point and exhilaration flooded her soul. She cycled on and on till she spied the disused overhead rail bridge signalling the end of the path. Increasing her speed, she bore down, giving it everything she had to get to the end. On reaching the end of the path, she decided to push a little further. MC, her hubby, had encouraged her to try to stretch herself a little each time. So she forged ahead and got to the tip of the A-road.
After a brief stop to catch her breath and hydrate her body from her water bottle nestled on the down tube, she turned the bike round and headed back. She started up the first hill tentatively, lowering the gears to help maintain her movements forward. It was hard. Breathing hard, she strained forward, willing her tired legs to keep moving. Her thighs burned and screamed out in pain from the effort she exerted on them, she was out of breath but she carried on. Riding against the wind, she felt like Sisyphus pushing that boulder up the hill. It took every muscle, every nerve to keep those legs pedalling. Even when she was sorely tempted to stop and rest, she carried on regardless.
As she passed familiar landmarks, she knew she was close and this gave her the needed energy to push on. As she approached the last hill just before ‘the home straight’, her heart pounded out a staccato beat in apprehension. Where on earth would she find the strength to cycle up that rather steep hill? Nobody would accuse her of not doing a good job even if she dismounted and walked the bike up the hill! But no, she wouldn’t give in. This hill was just one more obstacle to conquer in her quest for fitness and a healthy lifestyle. It was symbolic of every time in the past when she’d made an excuse not to exercise. After a brief stop to regroup, she set the gears as low as she could get them whilst still moving and went for it. It was slow.
It was painful. It was excruciatingly painful. She could feel the blood vessels in her thighs throbbing, silently begging for release from this punishment but she ignored them and pushed on.
When she crested the hill, her heart exploded with joy. She’d done it! It had seemed such an uphill task (pun intended) but she’d done it. She flew downhill in celebration of her accomplishment and completed the home straight. Exiting the path, she mounted the pavements and slowly made her way home. Mission almost accomplished!
As she neared home, the pain increased. Her speed didn’t reflect the effort she was exerting. She seemed to be moving at snail’s pace. Convinced this resistance must be due to a puncture, she dismounted and checked her back tire. It seemed to have the requisite amount of air. She realised her muscles had been stretched well beyond their comfort zone and simply didn’t have any more to give. She remounted and cycled slowly but surely towards the look of pride and joy in MC’s eyes when she told him of her feat.
Finally there was her home. Tired but extremely proud of what she’d done, she wheeled the bike into the shed and headed into the house.
It was with a great sense of pride and accomplishment that she responded to MC’s question of how it went. “I did it. I did the path” She told him. She was rewarded with a smile and a “Well done, Babes.”
As it turns out, she actually cycled 12 miles. Way to go!
I did say I would keep you posted on my progress and decided to make the narrative read like a story but every bit of it is true. If you don’t believe me, ask my aching thigh muscles and rather tender derrière.
Thanks for stopping by and tara for now.