Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Pain in the Rear

Last Wednesday I went for my first bike ride of the season. Ha! I rode from our apartment to my part-time job. It's probably five or six miles, and since I was going to teach when I got there, I eschewed my bike shorts in favor of...jeans. Because I have the brain the size of a peanut. By the time I taught my class and got back on my bike for the five or six miles back...ummm* inner thighs and other tender areas were somewhat sore. By the time I was halfway home, I was no longer sitting on my saddle, but practicing a sort of hover on my seat. By the time I was three-quarters of the way home, it was a tie between my ass and my quads as to which was more sore and I eventually got home with gritted teeth and a determination to NOT DO THIS AGAIN NEXT YEAR. Next winter, I'm going to get some saddle time in somehow. Even if a trainer must be purchased.

So then on Sunday, I cleverly arranged another session at my part-time job so that I would be able to ride in with my gorgeous fiance. But again, I decided that since I would be teaching when I got there, I would wear...jeans. And again, as soon as I got off the bike at my job, I found myself squeezing my buttocks and massaging my inner thighs, which is not as easy as you might think when you find yourself standing in front of four people you barely know**, trying to sound like an authority on something you are clearly not an authority on. And on the way home, I was sore again, but clearly I was putting more weight on my arms this time around because when I got home, my shoulders were tense, my upper arms were shaking, and I could barely carry my bike up the stairs to put him away. Yes, my bike is a boy. He's a very feminine boy.

Then last night, I again rode in with BB to my job. And I was feeling much better this time. But we rode back in with his boss WHO OWNS A BIKE SHOP AND RIDES 40 MILES EVERY DAY and even though he was clearly taking it easy because I could barely breathe at the pace we were going, I almost died when I finally got off the bike.

All of this to say, it was lovely. It's nice to go to bed and be physically tired, as well as mentally tired. It's nice to actually commute on my own free will and not in the confines of an overlarge vehicle with a broken CD player. It's nice to get outside and see the sun and feel the wind and be part of the city again. I have been burning the candles at both ends for a couple of months now and riding my bike again has reminded me that I really need to start taking care of my physical self, too.

I have had to hustle in other parts of my life to make sure I can get these bike rides in, but I am more and more determined that this is what I need to do. Not just the biking, of course, but occasionally leaving work before all those papers are graded or all those lesson plans are written, so that I can work out. So, that's it. I'll try and write more about my workouts. I have a working out tag, but I can't remember when I last used it. I'm hoping that it will gradually become just a part of my routine again, as much as it has been in the past before things got out of control crazy. (By the way, you won't hear so much bitching about this for much longer. In a month, everything will sort itself out, I will be unemployed again, and I will get enough sleep.)

Oh, but did I mention? That even though it was in the mid-60s when I rode home last night with the crazy bike shop owner, it's forecasted to snow tomorrow? Oh, Minneapolis, how I love thee.

*Did anyone besides me catch Geoff Nunberg on Fresh Air last Monday with his insightful, somewhat hilarious commentary on the word "um." I just about peed my pants and found myself examining my own vocal tics for the rest of the day.

**One of these people works for General Mills and made the super duper fantastic announcement that Rice Chex IS GLUTEN FREE. Oh, my God. The joy in Biker Boy's face when I told him this was unlike anything I could ever explain. We had been buying a cereal called Rice Crunch 'Ems, which was just like Rice Chex without the gluten. But it costs almost $2 a box more. And we had to go to the fancy grocery store to buy it. Now, we can buy Rice Chex ANYWHERE.

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