Seeing as it’s National Bike Month, according to the League of American Bicyclists (Doesn’t that sound wonderfully superhero-y?), I decided I would take a leap and commit to one bike ride each day for this month. I realize that for some of you, this would be about as challenging as promising to brush your teeth every day, but it’s just a wee bit more complicated for me.
Not that I’m complaining.
I work from home, so I don’t have a commute. Did I mention the big hills on the way to downtown? The spring winds and snow blasting intermittently this time of year?
Still not complaining. Really.
Rather than settling in with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s while I contemplated the lack of logic in this new program, I decided just to go with it. After all, it fit in nicely with two foundational thoughts I’m trying to keep in mind in this year of being 40.
When I started my weight loss/get in shape journey more than a year ago, I found genuine encouragement in Jonathan Roche’s No Excuses Workout System. He promised results with short workouts and no fancy, specialized equipment, so I was willing to try.
When Jonathan says “No excuses,” he means it in the best possible way, as in, there’s no excuse that’s good enough to keep you from reaching a goal of being healthy and feeling great. And I understood that. At the same time, I had several mornings where saying “No excuses!” just wasn’t getting me out of bed and into the gym.
I soon realized that even though Jonathan was as positive as all get-out, I was still feeling that someone who was truly motivated wouldn’t need a motto like “No excuses.” I had a sneaking suspicion I was someone who really didn’t have willpower and sought out loopholes on the tough days, even though I really, truly wanted to be a lean, toned mama. So one day, whilst ruminating on the array of variables that could keep me in bed and away from my workout, I had a thought: What’s possible?
Well, it was entirely possible that if I moved my body for even a few minutes, I would feel better and be that much closer to my goal. If I didn’t, I wasn’t going to be the same slug that was lying in bed. Which did I want?
I got out of bed.
When I can remember to ask myself what’s possible and believe in that vision, I get past my whiny inner brat who doesn’t want to do dishes, clean the bathrooms, or find a way to exercise when it’s raining.
A short workout is better than none.
Before reading Jonathan Roche, I thought that I had to exercise for at least 30-60 minutes at a go or my exercise was useless. Wasn’t that what we heard everywhere, from gym class to the doctor’s office? With my busy schedule, there was no time for that sort of a workout plan.
Not so fast, said Jonathan. Weren’t 20 crunches better than none? Wasn’t it better to to burn extra calories for ten minutes than ooze into the couch? More often than not, once I got moving, I was able to go five or ten more minutes.
With these two ideas in mind, I decided to plot out a couple of short routes that needed less than 30 minutes to complete so I could hop on my bike and go without a second thought.
A ride a day–on my way!