From Bed to...Bike?!?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Well, I've been struggling off and on with a bout of (clinical) depression, but for the most part now the fog has lifted. I get this once every couple of years, so now I should be good to go for the next 2 years, eh? ;-) And, on top of that, I was also knocked completely out by a terrible flu for about 4 weeks (I'm STILL coughing, and it's been 6 weeks now!!). Fever, aches, weakness, coughing...it was horrible! I even had to call in sick at work (and I NEVER do that) and sleep for several days straight. Usually, if I sleep late one morning or go to sleep early one evening, when I wake up whatever I was coming down with will have passed, but not this one! Nooooo....even after sleeping for about 3 days straight, I was still so weak I could barely move! Yuck.
But the good news (besides my recovery from both issues) is that although my weight loss slowed down during this time (due to emotional eating and not having energy to exercise), I didn't gain. I'm still in the game, I didn't totally sabotage myself!!!
Anyway, as my mood started improving, and as spring began to really burst forth here in Missouri, I began looking around at all the lucky people on bikes...they look so healthy and strong! I bought myself a bike a couple of years ago, but could barely huff and puff half a block -- that was actually a funny sight, even though it was kind of pathetic and sad. I was "relearning" how to ride my new bike at the same time as the little kid across the street was learning to ride for the first time....there I was, wobbling and grunting and sweating and struggling, and I heard her say to her mother: "Look! That lady's learning how to ride a bike, too!!" It was so funny that I couldn't help but crack up. But...it was very hard, and when my son asked if he could take some parts off of the bike (after it sat unused for several months) I said sure, go ahead...
But now, here I was, tempted to try again...but alas, no bike :-( And, especially since I just lost my job (one that I was beginning to loathe, so that's actually not a bad thing - I feel like doors to new opportunities are going to be opening now...it's probably not a coincidence that my depression lifted AFTER I "lost" this extremely stressful job!), there was no money for a new bike. I admired them, though, as they whizzed by my house, or past my car as I sat in traffic.
Anyway, this past Sunday I went to a thrift store just to take a look around, and I found a GORGEOUS red Schwinn bike...it was PERFECT! OK, a little rusty and dusty, but it was just what I wanted, and more! It's even RED, my favorite color!!! I wheeled it around a little -- I don't know much about bikes, but I know the wheels are supposed to turn, and these did...so it seemed like a good deal. It was priced $50 -- that's a great price for a bike, especially a Schwinn, right? But it gets even better: because it was Sunday, it was half price! So for $25 (plus extra for new inner tubes, brakes, etc.), I got a gorgeous bike that I love.
My son fixed it up for me, installing a basket and brakes and chain and all that other stuff, and I practiced riding around...I don't know whether it's because this bike is in better shape than the last one (also a thrift store special, and not in the best of shape), or whether *I'm* in better shape than last time (losing 30+ lbs couldn't hurt, right?), or what...but tonight I rode up and down my street for an HOUR! OK, true, I live in St. Louis, which is VERY hilly, and I can't pedal all the way to the top of the steep hills by my house...OK, I admit it, I can't even pedal halfway up them without stopping and walking the bike...but STILL! An hour, even on relatively flat surfaces, is still really good, and I'm proud!
I must have looked quite a sight out there, wobbling and huffing and puffing, but I LOVED it! I had asked G-d to help me find a bike in good shape that I could afford, and less than two weeks later, there I am, pedaling my very own gorgeous red bike!....and not only that, but can you believe His kindness that He even led me to a bike that is my favorite color??? His kindness is totally overflowing!
So here I am, feeling so much better than I have for weeks, with the horrible stress from my ex-job OFF of my shoulders (and I got severance pay, so the horrible stress of unemployment hasn't really hit me yet!), with hope in my heart about finding a new, better job and hopefully starting nursing school (I'm working on funding that dream now)...life is really looking up. I am hoping that whatever job I get is either close enough to my house that I could ride my bike to work, or that it has a normal number of hours (I had been working about 70-80 hours at the last job, and I NEVER want a job like that again!) so that I can have time to bike around and enjoy the gorgeous Spring/Summer/Autumn seasons.
So, now my goal is to practice, practice, practice, so that I can handle these hills...you should see the huge one by my house, though...I'm at the top of the hill, so getting started is easy, LOL. When we first moved to St. Louis I couldn't walk up this hill without stopping halfway up to rest and breathe. Now I can walk up and down the hills just fine. So my goal is to be able to bike up and down these hills by the end of summer.
So, if you're passing through St. Louis and you see a 40 year old woman wobbling around on a red bike and giggling uncontrollably to herself, be sure to wave and say hi!!! It'll be me!!!!