Archives for: June 2011, 21
I’m back from a morning bicycle ride and very thankful to ESS for making this ride such a pleasure.
If you are a long time reader of this blog, you may remember that ESS made his first appearance about a year ago. He and DD met last June and began dating. I called him ESS because he was an Exercise Sports Science major. By the time he and DD met, he felt God calling him to be a pastor. He was so close to graduation that he finished the ESS degree and is now going to seminary. I believe God will use his interest in sports as a connection point when he talks to young people about the Bible and their relationship to Christ.
ESS has participated in several sports, but his primary sport is bicycle racing. And on his last visit to our house, he did something to my bicycle that has me feeling young again.
Sometime last fall I punctured the tire on my bike. I didn’t ride for a few weeks until I could get the bike into a repair shop. The next time I rode, I felt like my balance was off. It wasn’t a big deal; it was just a little harder to control the bicycle on hills. I had this problem once before on a windy day, but this time the wind was calm. I thought it would go away as I got back into practice. But it didn’t. Then the weather got cold and I stopped riding for the winter.
I had forgotten about the balance issue when I took my first ride in the spring, but I noticed it immediately. It was not my imagination. I was working so hard to keep the bicycle steady that I would come home with sore arms. This was ridiculous; bicycling is supposed to work my leg muscles, not my arm muscles.
It was also discouraging. I know that to stay in shape as I get closer to 60 years old, I have to keep my core muscles strong. One of the early signs of loss of core strength is lack of balance. I wasn’t having trouble with any other exercise, just bicycling. But whenever I rode, I felt old.
One day I went for a ride and as I struggled to keep the bike going straight up a hill, I noticed that the center of the handle bars was not lined up with the front tire. I blinked and looked again. It was off by at almost an inch. I guess the repair shop didn’t check the alignment, or maybe it was bumped getting it out of the trunk. No wonder I was having to struggle to keep the bike upright, and no wonder my arms were tired.
DD and ESS came for a visit that weekend. He found the tools he needed and aligned the handlebars. Today’s ride was a pleasure. My legs are tired, as they should be, but my arms are normal.
Here are two things to consider from my experience. First, are you taking care of your core muscles? They are the key to balance and the key to being able to enjoy the strenuous exercise that is so beneficial for Type Os. Second, never jump to conclusions with anything regarding exercise and health. The solution may be as simple as finding the right size Allen wrench.
It has nothing to do with this blog, but you might be interested to know that when DD graduated, she applied for jobs in the city where ESS goes to seminary. She was blessed with a position in advertising and social media. Now they get to spend more time together than weekend visits between classes. I am very happy for the two of them and for DD’s wonderful job, but I sure do miss my kitchen helper and exercise partner.