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When Numbers Don't Matter

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I have gotten SO far away from caring about the numbers when it comes to working out and cycling. Over the weekend our cycling up Canada way wasn't the kind of distance that we've cycled in the past...much to the chagrin of one of our new members who came for her first time. She is working up for her MS 175 ride, 100 one day, 75 the next. I did that ride with her a few years back, but have since given up doing benefit rides (pay me to go have a blast on my bike! ...eh, doesn't sit too well with me).

So instead I shared my trick with her: if I'm not racking up the kind of miles I might prefer, I crank up the intensity of my ride and kick up the speed! Another club member agreed and the three of us did "intervals" where we would BLAST OFF for a stretch, then back off, repeat until good, sweaty & satisfied.

During one of my solo blasts another rider pulled up along side me and asked how fast I was going apparently impressed with my speed.

To which I replied: don't have a clue! My speedometer / odometer never worked right so I just ditched it a few years ago. I just pump it up when I want to, take 'er easy when I want to. I don't care about the numbers, I care about moving my body in ways that feel right for the present moment which I'm trying savor as much as possible. Perhaps a song in my head or the view that lies ahead or catching up with another rider for chit-chat. That's what it's all about for me.

The other point is that when it comes to working out and calories, who really KNOWS how much of whatever activity burns whatever amount. There's so much variation in ways of measuring this.

The number that matters to me is the amount of time I spend moving my body and the consistency of doing this day-in, day-out.

The numbers that REALLY matter way more than ANYTHING are the quality and quantity of calories I'm taking in. The rest will take care of itself if I'm on top of my food choices.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This is so right in so many ways.

    I understand the fixation with numbers and I myself count minutes at any given exercise ... but honestly? What we really need is a joy meter. LOL

    Great leadership showing in this blog.
    2327 days ago
    So sensible -- there is too much numbers obsession and I really don't myself believe that the "calories burned" are very accurate anyhow . . . .it's how you feel and getting moving!!
    2332 days ago
    I echo what others have said here, Don. You are a healthy person inside and out. I'm glad you share here. Pam
    2335 days ago
    You have developed a healthy life. The numbers that matter to you, give you joy and health. You are doing well and are inspirational.

    2335 days ago
    Sprints! Good idea for those days when I don't have time to get in a long walk or run. Thanks for the reminder!
    2336 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
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    2336 days ago
    I really like this and the research says that intervals of increased intensity is best so you are doing it right!
    2336 days ago
    Well said. I am more interested in IF my heart rate is getting into a range that will promote heart health and for long enough to matter on a regular basis. I have never given much credence to the whole idea of tracking "calories burned". I also weigh, but don't really put a lot of stock in the scale. A better indicator is my mood and how "well" I feel. Of course how your clothes fit is also a great non-number reinforcement :) Alas, the more I move the better all these metrics "measure up". Bike on!
    2336 days ago
  • _LINDA
    That is the best attitude to have too! You are in it to enjoy it. Period. Life is not a race. You really don't want to get to the finish line in a hurry. You want to enjoy and savor every single moment!
    Keep on having fun doing the things you love!
    2336 days ago
    2336 days ago
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