In the throes of winter, not to mention a never-ending pandemic, happiness can be a recumbent exercise bike.
At least I sure hope so.
There was a time not that long ago when one could go to a gym and work out, take a nice steam bath, then shower and skip out the door.
Now, thanks to this coronavirus pandemic, we must skip just about everything that is fun.
Don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy night after night of Law & Order reruns and Two and a Half Men and the nightly Wheel of Fortune/Jeopardy hour, but I want to go out once in a while too.
Wouldn’t it be great to go to the movies, or out for dinner or to a live sports event? That’s a rhetorical question — we all know the answer.
The vaccines are being given, slow but sure, and maybe we can see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. We can only hope and pray.
But for now, it’s pretty much a stay-at-home lifestyle, so we must make the most of it.
Enter the recumbent bike. It arrived Thursday night and Chuck of Complete Fitness in Kingston and his able assistant Steve lugged it up two flights of stairs to its new home in my den. Now, as I watch those aforementioned TV shows, I will be pedaling away in my determined attempt to shed some of these excess pounds and hopefully return to a better state of health.
And one day I hope to be able to want to look into a mirror or step on a scale without fear of looking back.
Mirrors and scales — the two most feared inventions of overweight humans. Like me. Well, it’s time to take action.
I honestly can’t figure out how I’ve gained this weight. That said, it’s time to attack and make a concerted effort to lose a lot of it.
Added to this is the more difficult part of losing weight — watching what one eats. I plan on cutting way down on some of my favorites, like pizza, pasta, bread, sweets, starches — a/k/a all the good stuff. The war on carbohydrates resumes.
Like my Uncle Jim, I don’t want to look portly — a kinder, gentler term for fat — in the mirror or in the eyes of others.
With my poor metabolism, I go forward as I become more active. Hopefully, this exercise regimen will spark all sorts of internal endorphins that will energize me to go on to exceed my goals.
When I get on my bike, I will think about those days when I was a kid and would have a never-ending amount of energy. We would play all day and into the night, only stopping to have lunch and dinner. We would play baseball, football, basketball, tag, hide and seek. We would take long hikes through thick woods, and we would never get tired.
In the winter, we would sleigh ride all day, flying down steep hills and walking back up time and again and never thinking once that we were getting tired. We would go swimming, we would climb trees, we would hold races to see who was the fastest in the neighborhood. Heck, we would walk to school in the morning, back home for lunch, back down for the afternoon session and back home after school.
And it was, seriously, up hill both ways.
And we would get on our bicycles and ride all day — down hills, up hills, everywhere. I can remember riding my bike up Orchard Street or Reynolds Street and zig-zagging to make it easier to scale the steepness.
I will think of those days as I pedal away. And I will think about all of the organized sports we played over the years, from Little League to Teeners’ League to junior high to high school. Of basketball on beautiful indoor hardwood courts to the concrete of Huber Playground to the driveway of Dr. Savage’s home to the self-made hard clay court that Gene and Edmund Kelleher built across from their house on Nottingham Street.
And through all of this, I will feed on the spirit of competitiveness that always was present. Friendly rivalries for sure, but adrenalin was always pumping.
The new bike is made by a company named True.
So with determination at hand, I embark on this quest to drop some pounds — to get un-portly.
Willpower is a must. Prayer will also help.
Where there’s willpower, there will be a way.