Rollin’ on my homie

28 Aug

I’m an Oklahoma anomaly in many ways beyond my meat-shunning. One of them is my distaste for sports. Nearly every Okie has a favorite team of some kind, and even the mostly indifferent root for either the Sooners or the Cowboys (or occasionally the Golden Hurricane, but that makes even me giggle). I do not. I actively do not care. For the most part, I cannot stand watching sports. Somehow I hooked up with an amazing guy who also can’t stand them. He’s a former football player, and I once waved a pair of pom pons, but that’s an image for another time.

Despite this fact, between the ages of 4 and 17, I managed to participate in six different physical activities: gymnastics/acrobatics (briefly), swimming, soccer, cheerleading, dance (ballet, tap, jazz), and basketball (yes, I’m 5’3″). In that time, I did all the normal kid things, too, including bike riding, trampolining, and being a spaz. Upon entering college and engaging fully in dorm life, my desire for movement of any kind dissipated. Sure, I made some half-assed attempts at working out, but mostly, I studied, ate, and played Set with my fellow nerdy/awesome friends. I gained and I lost weight intermittently, and I still managed to graduate at a healthy size.

Now as a 20-something, health has become a major interest of mine. I read lots of books on it, constantly try to eat well, and enjoy the weight loss that has accompanied my almost squeaky-clean lifestyle. My one sticky area, however, remains fitness. I thrive on routine, but building one is proving difficult. Knowing my own limitations, I try to surround myself with a large of variety of fitness opportunities. I take the stairs up to and down from my fourth-floor (windowless, cavelike, meat locker) office; I try to make a weekly yoga class; once or twice a week, I slip into the gym.

As part of this routine-less routine, earlier this summer, I bought a bike from the Saturday Flea Market. His name is Marcello:

Isn’t he a sexy beast? Born in 1966, he made all my vintage-bicycle dreams come true. And at $75, it was meant to be. I couldn’t wait to ride him around all the time. I even bought some accessories:

Helmet, bell, basket, and mirror (that came with him). Check out the decidedly non-vintage spinny bell:

My Oklahomie readers know where this ambitious story is going. We had a brutal winter by our standards this year (including snow in March, what?!), so that meant the summer needed to compensate by melting our skin for two months. Marcello and I got very little one-one-one time (mostly me on him, though I won’t deny the reciprocity) before the sun took up residence in my town. We had nearly a month of above-100 temperatures and the brutal Great Plains humidity that accompanied it. Marcello sat sadly, lonely, in the spare room/office/craft space/general storage area.

I woke yesterday to discover a gorgeous 75 degrees outside, so I dusted off my blue baby and went on the longest ride of my adult life: roughly 3.5 miles. It felt great! It felt awesome! I sweated and smiled and mostly ignored the pain in my rear end. In fact, I got so ambitious as to declare that I would ride him all the way to the Cherry Street Farmers Market — my Saturday morning destination — today. It’s about a 6-mile trip there and back. I figured if I could pedal 3.5 miles yesterday in one shot, I could certainly do 3, take a break, and then do another 3. So what if I’d never done it before? Never even ridden with anything more than my keyring in the basket? I was up to the challenge.

And you know what? I did it. I did it. I can’t freaking believe it. I may have walked the last four blocks of the trip out (the hills on 15th will kill you, especially if your bike has only one speed), but I didn’t break down and call a cab as I feared/prepared for. The reward: 172 calories burned, +10,000 confidence points, and a bag of tasty, local produce. Here’s the spread:

In a basket.

On my self-healing cutting mat. Yum.

Grapes (more in the bag – for my mom), basil, chives.

(Blurry) arugula.

(Blurry) new potatoes and green beans (my favorites).

(Slightly less blurry) cherry tomatoes.

I will share what I make with the goodies soon.

How did I feel after my accomplishment?

Sweaty, mostly, and proud — but not prideful. Would you like further proof that I have no actual pride or dignity? This is what a helmet does to unwashed, super-fine hair, bobby pins be damned:

SEX-AY. You’re welcome.

And in case you’re interested, I had my Nano on shuffle, so this was my ridin’ dirty play list:

  • Train — “Free”
  • The Rolling Stones — “I Just Want to See His Face”
  • Vampire Weekend — “Horchata”
  • Ben Folds Five — “Brick”
  • Fiona Apple — “Get Him Back”
  • Taylor Swift — “You’re Not Sorry”
  • David Bowie — “Young Americans”
  • Busta Rhymes feat. Rampage — “Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check”
  • Iron & Wine — “Sodom, South Georgia”
  • Portishead — “Mysterons”
  • Peter Gabriel — “Secret World”

8 Responses to “Rollin’ on my homie”

  1. Emily August 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Haha! You rock, you sex-ay woman, you!

  2. Doc Spender August 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Taking on such a challenge required a lot of intestinal fortitude.
    Finishing took a level of strength that had been previously untested.
    Success is its own reward.
    Congratulations! As a fellow biker, I assure you that now you’ll want to continue testing your limits.

  3. Holly August 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    That sounds like fun, Brigid! You had a fun (and very eclectic) playlist to keep you going. I think it’s really cool that you just went for it like that. And, in my opinion, you still looked super cute when it was all over with. So will you be going again next week?

    I love this new blog, by the way!

    • greyeyedesigns August 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

      Thanks, Holly! Yep, I will try to bike again next week, unless I take my pooch.

  4. Jessie August 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    Wow, that sounds like so much fun! I also hate sports. But I also dislike exercising unless something concrete comes from it (like going somewhere specific to do something specific). So I love riding my bike to stores, garage sales, the library…

    I think it’s funny that you gave him a boy’s name — ’cause he’s a boy’s bike! Whatever shall you do if you want to go biking in a skirt?? 🙂

    • greyeyedesigns August 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

      I know! The bar is a bit of an issue, especially since I’m 5’3″ and can barely get my leg over it. Should I desire to wear a skirt, I will either wear shorts underneath or a cute pair of undies. 😉 I think it’s unlikely I will bike in a skirt, however.

  5. sweet tea August 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    You inspsire me!

  6. Kate August 28, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Way to go! I need to get my bike’s flat fixed so I can get on it now that the insane heat is gone for a bit.

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