Sunday, July 22, 2012

The obligatory introspective post

Originally composed 7/17/12:

"Listen to your own heart beating," fine advice from the man who gave us Danger Zone and Footloose. Standing on the doorstep of 43, I am attempting to be intentional in my actions. The why matters. "Because it feels good" is no longer sufficient. The instant gratification that I have lived most of my life by is failing to make me happy. In fact, it is having the opposite effect. Then a remarkable thing happened. My decision to race the Great Divide flipped a switch in my head. All of the fragments that seemed to define a life well-lived snapped into place like metal shavings lining up for a magnet. It's hard to overstate the difference. Soda and snacking has been a fixture in my life. Soda is gone. I still snack but I give some thought as to why I want to eat and what I am going to eat. Obviously, the bottom line for now is weight. As of today, I weigh 252.4. I started at 281 on May 6th. I have been using a spreadsheet to track progress so that I don't overemphasize recent results and lose motivation as I am wont to do. At this pace, I will go below 200 pounds sometime in January...for the first time in seventeen years. 186 is still the goal.

Regarding the bike, I definitely need wider handlebars and more comfortable grips. Ergon seems to be universally loved. Getting lighter will help my hands some, but for six or seven hours in the saddle I need the ergonomics. If all goes well, I'll do a century on the road bike on July 28. The next challenge will be a 120-mile "Gran Fondo" on September 2 on the mountain bike. Then a 400-mile multi-day in Virginia beginning October 20 will give me a chance to sort out the kit. Which reminds me that I need to get busy on any DIY pieces of the kit, so it can be thoroughly tested. So much to do.

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