I still don’t “get” runners

For much of this year, from late April into early October, it was a real disappointment for me if I did not get out and ride at least ten miles every single day. I would rail against the weather when it was too cold, or wet, to go on my morning ride in comfort and safety. As the weather has gotten colder and less conducive to (that kind of) outdoor activity, I’ve been feeling less and less good about myself, even gained a bit of weight, as I’ve curtailed my outdoor exercise. The fact that the sunrise is now so late certainly doesn’t help matters.

But today, the weather was unseasonably warm (over 50°F by the time my alarm went off) and sunny, and I had originally been planning to go on a 60-mile ride this morning, but instead I lazed about in bed and finished reading the book I had stayed up too late to start last night. And this seems embarrassing — even shameful — to admit, here, in (semi-)public, in a way that it would not have even just a year ago. (And it was a good book, with the sort of emotional response I’ve come to expect from a good book, about which I’ll have more to say later.)

I then spent even more time sitting in front of the computer, before finally making my way downstairs to eat lunch at 3:30 — with only 45 minutes of daylight left to go, a nice day completely wasted. And warm enough that I could have done without most of my cold-weather gear, which would have made the whole ride more fun. Tomorrow won’t be nearly as nice, but I’m keenly aware that the number of potential cycling days before the weather turns really unfavorable is rapidly dwindling (although that’s been rather less predictable of late than in my youth, when it was an unusually warm winter if the ski areas weren’t open the weekend after Thanksgiving).

I still don’t “get” runners, but I understand them better after this year. That is to say, why anyone would choose that particular form of physical activity, with its high wear-and-tear on so many parts of the body, pain, and overall unpleasantness, remains a mystery to me. But the drive to get outside and move and push one’s physical limits, that makes all the sense in the world, and I feel really terrible for not taking advantage when the opportunity does present itself. Now down to the stationary bike for my regular workout — because those calories won’t burn themselves, no matter how much I beat myself up about not going for a proper ride.

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