I love my bike. It’s so freeing. Friday, I had a mandated half day for myself. I had put in over 95 hours the previous 2 weeks and felt I needed an afternoon. As it turns out, it was pretty much the most gorgeous day of the year. The wife was home for Good Friday, and went into super cleaning mode.
She was on a mission.
Guys think, “I have some people coming over, I’ll tidy up a bit for 30-60 minutes, it’ll be fine”. My wife goes into full combat mode, and hours of endless cleaning ensue. I try to stay away from that as much as possible, or if it would be up to her I’d be on the floor cleaning between the wood planks with a tooth brush for eternity. So, she was on a mission yesterday and I come home – and immediately take the opportunity to walk the dog.
I take her out, and wow…the day is even prettier than I thought. Flowers in full bloom. 68 degrees. PERFECT. What about biking? Let’s do it.
I take the dog back home, knowing my wife wants me to roll up my sleeves and get a pick axe, shovel, and rubber gloves. God knows. I tell her I’m going to go on a quick ride, and suffice it to say, if I was trapped in a pool of gasoline, my wife would have only been so happy as to throw a match at me. The looks of death. The guilty sighs.
Zero guilt. Deuces.
So I get to the rail trail in York. It goes 20 miles south in to Maryland, then another 20 miles or so in Maryland. I’m starting at mile marker 20, by York College of PA (my undergrad alma mater). I get the bike out, tunes go on, and off I go. Being 53 pounds less, I realize I’m moving a lot better than before.
I’m cruising along, and just before mile of my journey, there’s an old tunnel. I get through it, pass the mile 5 marker…then suddenly it’s getting harder to pedal and I downshift. I had remembered ever having to downshift to 2…and it was a little bumpy. I knew what the problem was, but I didn’t want to look. I prayed.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. 5.25 miles away from my car.
But, there’s 2 places or so my wife could pick me up along the way.
Wait. I think she currently hates me. And, knowing her, she might laugh and gloat about it.
I decided that, hell, it’s a nice day. Maybe I’ll just walk it. Mind you, I have lost 53 pounds, but I’m not a thin man, not by anyone’s standards. I don’t recall ever having to walk 5.25 miles at one time, let alone being this weight and having to walk with a bike.
So I turned around and started walking. About a quarter of a mile down, I took stock of the tunnel that probably had done something to my bike.
Around three-quarters of a mile into my sojourn, the wife calls.
“What are you doing”. Mind you, I was supposed to be biking for some time yet. My plan was 8 miles down and 8 miles back, for probably close to one hour and 20 minutes. I thank God I wasn’t at mile 8 deep when this happened.
“Why are you walking. Weren’t you supposed to be biking?”
“So why are you walking”.
“My tire went flat”.
“How did it do that?”
“I don’t know, ask my fucking tire”.
“So when are you coming home?”
“I don’t know. I’m 4 and a half miles away from my car”.
At this point…I was expecting two things.
- She would laugh hysterically at me.
- She would compose herself and ask where she can pick me up.
“Karma’s a bitch, isn’t it”, she said steely.
At this point, I knew I was fucked. I could have cleaned the fucking kitchen in 30 minutes or less, and well, she had other plans in store for my life on perhaps the most beautiful day in 6 months.
“Well, I wasn’t planning on the tire going flat”.
“Well….you aren’t going to help me clean then, are you?”
“Yes, that was my master plan. I was going to bike out as far as I can, pop my tire, then have to walk back”.
“This is ridiculous.”
In the next 15 seconds or so, she ended up hanging up on me somehow. I was sort of dumbfounded how someone could be so angry at me. I have really tried to make my health my TOP priority in my life. Other things have taken a back seat, and sometimes this puts strains on relationships. But you know what? If I don’t take care of myself now, I won’t be around in 4 or 5 years for someone to yell at me then, because I’ll be dead. So I put a premium on my fitness/healthy eating now….so I’ll be around to get yelled at for the next 50 years.
Wait….50 years? Am I sure I want to do this? Ok…yeah.
So now the reality is sinking in that I’m alone….4.5 miles from my car. My wife is most certainly not offering to come get me, and I know if I ask, it’s going to give her some sort of messed up satisfaction to say no. So she doesn’t offer, and I don’t ask.
As I’m walking, yes, I’m witnessing some really nice scenes in nature…
However, it’s getting later. I started to crunch the numbers in my head. My guess was this walk is going to take me over 2 hours. Double fuck.
To amuse myself, I started to think of a show I used to watch called Survivorman, where he came up with some ridiculous scenarios of being stranded somewhere, and then he’d have to use what’s on him and his survivor skills to last 7 days. At the end of 7 days, he calls in his chopper crew. He does all of the filming himself.
So I started playing with this in my head…
- Need to find fresh water. Check.
- Need to find shelter. Maybe I can make a lean-to.
- Need to hunt game. Maybe I can use the tube from my tire to be a sling shot to kill squirrels.
- Need to build a fire. Tons of flint around, perhaps I can get some kindling.
It went on and on. Meanwhile, I’m wondering if there’s any bears around where I am. Not so sure. Rattlesnakes, possibly. Copperheads, possibly. Big ass wild turkeys, yes. Deer, yes.
This fucking bike.
By now, I’m posting some of this on facebook. At least I had a lot of battery power on the phone left. The first two smart asses say something like “patch kit”. Like yeah. Like no. Didn’t have it. Fucktards. What would I have done with that other than get more aggravated and throw it in the creek you see above? But….I guess I need to figure out how to do that shit if I’m going to bike again. Now they have this fancy thing called YouTube where I can learn how to do it. But people are secretly liking that I’m fucked out in the wilderness. You know what, I’d be smirking if I was them too. Nothing like someone’s misfortune sometimes to put a kick in your step. Minor misfortune, like my fat ass trying to change a bike tire, not like someone gets dead misfortune, that’s just wrong.
So…an interesting side effect happened.
I was planning to do 8 miles of biking down, 8 miles back. My record was 10 down, 10 back, but that was a decade ago. What ended up happening was 5.25 miles of biking, and 5.25 miles of walking. Which means I crushed my PR for steps in a day, by a lot.
Now, my day finished over 20,000 but daaaaamn. My calories also ended up over 6,000 for the day.
So, my fucking bike. That happened yesterday. That was the first time that’s happened to me on that trail, and wow…that was a wake up call.
So I’ve been going more crazy with food prep lately. Even more than before. I love writing here, but I’m only writing at 5:30 tonight because I’m in the dog house again.
For many years….I ran into:
“What are we having for dinner?”
This would be back and forth for 20-60 minutes. I’d suggest Italian, the wife would suggest sushi. I had food there to cook, but it might take an hour, or perhaps I didn’t get meat out the day before. Eventually, it would end with one of 5 or 6 stops on a convenient food method, perhaps something throwing greasy food out a window at you.
It’s a big reason I got so big. “What’s for dinner”. That simple phrase made me want to punch holes in dry wall…run full speed into a brick wall head first…listen to Hanson’s “Ummm Bop” on repeat 250,000 times in a row while locked in a closet.
In September, at the beginning of my journey, that phrase no longer had any power over me.
I told my wife I loved her, but she’s on her own for dinner for now on. Maybe occasionally, we’ll go out to eat together, but as a general rule, I drew a line in the sand.
That is what I have taken off since I no longer gave three fucks what my better half eats. I’ve no longer let what goes into my mouth dictated by anyone else.
Today, I went out to a diner for lunch with my wife, son, mom/stepdad, and grandmother. I got eggs, bacon, toast, home fries….but I was tracking everything. I also had a peanut butter egg, a smaller one. You see, when your secondary job is being a fat ass, you can polish half a box of that shit off when no one is looking – and NO ONE is wiser! Except, perhaps, they see it in your swollen face when you put more weight on. I ate a small one. And I had no regrets. I had the trainer this morning, and played basketball with the kid for 2 hours today.
But I’m accountable for what goes into my mouth.
“What’s for dinner?” Came out tonight…..
It’s a Saturday night, it’s not an offensive question at that time. But 5, 10, 15 years ago – Saturday night and dinner meant getting dressed up, going to a nice place, going to a movie, and being a grown up. These days, it involves jeans, hoodies, feeding yourself fat, un-buckling your pants, then passing out at 8:30, only to get acid reflux and sleep like dog shit on your one night of the month to try and get sleep.
So I decided I was going to be good. I wanted to limit myself to between 600-800 calories.
I asked about Applebees. I know they have a Caesar salad I eat, I get the dressing on the side, and double the chicken breast meat. That will clock me around 600-700.
“I hate that ##%^#Y#WV place”, she tells me, perhaps for the 435th time. I was perhaps hoping though, that this time was different. I was very much wrong.
She then suggests Chipotle, home of the foodborne virus on a bad day, runny asshole on a good day. I decline, because I realize I have chicken in the freezer with lots of paprika, cayenne pepper, rice, and broccoli that is fucking banging. And, I know it’s 600 calories, tasty, and healthy.
I then look in my freezer, and see..
What’s in there? Chicken and mashed potatoes/corn, chicken with rice/broccoli, chicken parm and rigatoni, pork and sweet potatoes/veggies.
Suddenly, I realize it’s a trap.
It’s a moment of clarity. It’s the path back to the dark side. I have presented some healthy/lower calorie options (the other was 2 slices of pizza for about 800). And…none of the options I presented to her were satisfactory to her.
After 10 minutes, I went in the freezer, grabbed out a healthy meal, threw it in the microwave, and at the shit out of it.
So, it’s been an hour or so since she left mad at me. No idea where she went.
I’m waking up tomorrow with the scale continuing to go lower.
And that’s me taking control of my life. It might not please other people, but I am accountable for what goes into my body, no one else is. And I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight, with my 5 quarts of water drank, exercise smashed today….
And I’m going to be one day closer to my goal. You can come along for the ride, or I can leave you on the rail trail (oooops, sorry, that wasn’t me lol), but this ship has sailed to a land of determination and perseverance. I will not be derailed. I will not be guilted. I will not be tricked, trapped, double talked, whatever you want to call it.
I have found my path, and I have to walk it.
Just not another 5.25 miles, for all that is fucking holy.