Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tank on a Bike
When I was in junior high school, my girlfriends and I used to play football with the neighborhood boys. It was actually just a good chance for us to cop some innocent feels on each other. And it was fun. Anyways, the boys being boys nicknamed the girls. They called my best friend Boobhead, because she wasn't too smart but she had a nice body. (No sexism here, eh? Start 'em early I say!) My other friend was called Scrounger because she always seemed to be finding and picking up coins and shiny whatnots everywhere she went. And me? Well naturally I was called Tank. And I hated it. I was taller than everyone else and outweighed them by about 20 lbs. which granted 20 lbs. isn't a heck of a lot now, but back then it might as well have been 200 lbs.
So I've been riding my bike around the neighborhood here. We're on a hill and there are hills everywhere here. So I've gotten in some good cardio workouts lately. But I've been wanting to hit a bike trail and funny thing is, I wanted to ride in the daylight! For the past several months, any exercise I've done outside has always been at night time. It's a vanity thing. I never liked the idea of people staring, and a fat girl exercising is something people stare at! My bike isn't much, just a cheapie that we purchased at Kmart about 5 years ago and pretty much sat gathering dust until recently. We did a little upgrading by adding a "cadillac" seat (in other words, more cushion & more width!), some rockin' new tires that we got from the bike shop and other little assorted goodies. So today I woke up early...and early means 8 am for me...took a quick cool down shower (hot flashes are killin' me lately!), loaded up the bike and headed for a nice bike trail that my husband and I discovered last week. I cannot tell you how heavenly this was for me! I felt a freedom of movement that has been lacking in my life for so long. I unloaded my bike at the trail, hopped on and took off down the path that rode right alongside the Rio Grande. I had monarch butterflies and dragonflies riding beside me all along. And the people I passed by are so...so nice! This is unusual and very hard for me to grasp. Everyone said hello...and good morning...nice day. I passed other bikers, people walking all types of dogs, and even some cowboys on horseback. I followed the trail for the full length of 3 miles, then turned around and headed back. Six miles total. When I was coming into the final stretch at the end of the trail, there were a group of older gentlemen all hanging out and talking. They all waved and said hello and one of them asked me if I had finished the whole six miles. When I said "yes...why yes I did!" They all started cheering and clapping. At first I wasn't sure if they were laughing at me...being obese in our society has taught me to think like this...but no, they were genuine. And I felt pretty good. And strong. And my old nickname came to mind and I realized that there is nothing wrong with being a tank. So on that note, I think I might do it again tomorrow!