Saturday, July 9, 2011

Don't let your workout get skunked

A cold beer that becomes warm will skunk--its flavor ruined, an opportunity lost.


A similar thing can happen to a workout.

If the idea of a workout is warm, but not acted upon, the good intention may cool and skunk--the inspiration ruined, an opportunity lost.

It's Day 5 and a 1-hour bike ride was on the schedule.

I was up at 6 AM for my daughters' swim meet and didn't get home until 2 PM. After six hours outside in the heat, surrounded by the cacophony at the pool and the sun's glare reflecting off the water, I was whipped. Hungry, tired and nursing a headache, all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch in the AC with a good book and a cup of Chai.

But the bike ride still loomed. And I was "this close" to blowing it off. And I'm only on Day 5.

It's times like these when I am especially grateful that my husband is such a positive influence and a good workout partner. He is even more intense and competitive than I am, which can sometimes be annoying, especially when I'm hoping he'll enable a slacker moment, but it mostly helps me to push myself harder, to challenge myself and become stronger; to not slack.

But, knowing he was tired too, I tossed him some bait, wondering (hoping?) if he'd take it, and floated the idea of skipping our ride. We just stared at each other, locked in that instant of indecision, tetering between biking and bailing.

"Let's do it," he said, not surprisingly. And so we did. I popped some Advil, took two hits of Hammer Gel for lunch, and off we went. And, of course, I was glad I hadn't blown it off. If I had, I would have missed out on the thrill of biking through the thick and potent essence of freshly squashed skunk, the challenge of dodging patches of loose gravel (dump truck yard sale?) on a fast descent, and the pleasure of spending time with my now constant companion--the hot spot on my right foot. This "hottie" has returned this season with varying degrees of intensity; I never quite know what mood she will be in--slightly annoyed or a raging bitch.

But, 20 miles later, I am satisfied to report that even though I ended up getting skunked today, my workout did not.

I'm hoping it's times like these--when the cool comfort of my couch is calling to me and I'm tempted to choose the easy way out but don't, when I choose the path of most resistance instead--that I am building the strength of character I will need to triumph over 140.6 miles.

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