Die For

Watching all the violence and unrest over the past two weeks, listening to the President essentially turn our nation into a dictatorship this afternoon, I thought again about what I decided today while I was riding the bike-to-nowhere.

Not even I will claim that the bike-to-nowhere is interesting. I like the road trip videos I watch, and I even have a favorite (Picos de Europa, in Spain). Still, I’m pretty sure the bike-to-nowhere is why I can walk now and do not look quite like Jaba the Hut.

There are a lot of ways to ride that thing and for a while I’ve been going for longer rides, but I have a couple of goals with it and one of those is burning calories. I don’t eat a lot, but I have a very efficient metabolism. I’ve had to struggle with my weight since I was a younger woman.

I did Weight Watchers in my 20s — that was surreal. The diet centered on fish and peas with other weird stuff included, such as strawberry pie made with whole wheat bread smashed into a pie pan to look like crust and strawberries suspended in diet Jell-o. BUT if you’ve ever wondered how Barbi keeps HER figure (besides that she’s made of plastic) I’ve seen Barbie plastic meals and they are fish and peas.

After that experience I realized the best way to keep things under control was to manage my portions and exercise. I never viewed exercises as “exercise” (I don’t even view the bike-to-nowhere as “exercise” — it’s the sport I can do right now). When your joints are no longer “joining” (ha ha) all of this is a challenge.

So, looking at my “Map-my-Walk” workout log I saw I wanted to burn more calories in a week than I have been and realized I could do it by 7 shorter rides a week. Strange but true. I commenced that regimen yesterday. It’s kind of fun (relatively) to ride against the clock. I can do that AND walk a dog every day so it’s good for all of us. I can’t walk the dogs far enough to do me much good in the calorie department, though in the soul department it’s necessary to get out there as often as possible.

Anyway, as I was riding in this different way, I finally felt the stirrings of inspiration that have been missing since the virus started. “Yellowstone Park,” I thought, suddenly. “I’ll train to ski at Yellowstone Park this winter.” And then I thought, “For that I would risk my life.” I was stunned by the realization, but it also made me happy. It’s not the Birkebeiner, it wouldn’t be a crowd of people, and who’s to say that by January — assuming we still have a country — we might not have better treatments or even a vaccine?

There is no better summer training for Langlauf than what I’m doing. Suddenly summer seems less oppressive, the virus is still the virus and this fucked up situation is still fucked up but if I make it through? Maybe I’ll see wolves running through the snow and the steam from the hot springs making phantoms of the bison.

35 thoughts on “Die For

  1. I would love to see steaming, ghostly bison. If you can, take pictures when you go. Until then, I will picture you in a winters landscape with wispy bison in the background.

  2. Excellent plan. Biking to nowhere will actually lead to a worthy goal that’s more fun than those pesky health reasons 🙂

  3. Good plan, Martha, even if that bike takes you another direction.

    Prior to the Byron Bay Blues Festival being cancelled this year, I heard that Patti Smith was going to perform there. I knew it was inevitable that it was going to be cancelled at it is held over Easter, the same time as my National Folk Festival. I thought to myself that maybe going to see Patti Smith would be something worth dying for, which I then immediately dismissed, but it is worth remembering that that in all this shitfulness, we can still have our dreams.

  4. Good plan. I went to Yellowstone this winter in early February, just before things shut down. It was wondrous. Did a trip through Road Scholar. Small group, we did some xc skiing, some snowshoeing, walking and snowmobiling (I didn’t love that part, but the only way to get into the park in winter is on snow hardy vehicles) It was lovely to be there without the crowds. Bison and trumpeter swans.

  5. I do like your goal and the plan to get there. They say that the difference between a dream and a goal is having a plan! There are lots of Roads Scholar trips and they are all rated for level of activity (noting when they require walking distances etc – since they cater to the older travelers).

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