Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I have abs…

We are less than seven weeks out from the Old Kentucky Home Bike Tour (OKHT). Today when I walk up stairs, I wince and sometimes have to stop and let the pain subside. Today is a well deserved rest day but I still feel all of my newly formed muscle fibers twitching. Is it worth it? YES. The first group ride I did well over a month ago with Lee, a friend who up until now has been submerged in constant studying as she became a doctor (Congrats!). This first ride proved to put us in our place quickly (in the rear). I pedaled, struggled, huffed and puffed to finish the ride that night with 90% humidity, traffic, and the fear of being dropped. It didn’t help that we were riding with a pro who makes it look so easy as she never even gasps for breath on uphills (damn her!). I collapsed in a local brewery that night thinking “what in the hell have I gotten myself into…and I wish I could have a beer.

Last night, a corner was turned. Lee and I lead the majority of the group ride. We rode faster than we normally do and the ride captain told us to slow down. I kinda pumped my fists with a “yes” motion almost celebrating our scolding. Progress is officially being made. Not only can we do longer and harder rides (Lee and I joked that we really are not even sweating by 20-miles anymore), but finally we can see the changes! I told Lee as I approached my car in a quite exited girly tone, “I HAVE ABS!” and I unzipped my jersey (which fits again!) to reveal a SLOW forming whiter than Elmer’s glue six pack (I NEVER KNEW I HAD A SIX PACK IN THERE!). SPECIAL NOTE: Those are NOT my abs in the picture.

While there is fear of approaching winter and my couch engulfing me in laziness, I am hoping that once the OKHT has passed and I survive, that I will continue (Lee too!). At this point, riding is becoming something that I cannot quit and the longer, harder the ride, the better. The feeling of being fit is becoming a norm. I have a long way to go to be truly fit but I am getting there. The reward is a slowly changing body, disappearing thigh dimples, shrinking waist lines, and shopping for new clothes (okay, not really, that is not in the budget—but I can dream). In other words, it really does work. It really does pay off. Instead of beating myself and hating my body, I am doing something about it. This is my motivation for Wednesday’s approaching one-mile hill climb but I feel my motivation will emerge with me yelling at myself….”Come on Melinda…get your ass up this hill….(scream)” and the lighter my derrière is, the better. One pedal at a time.

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