There are many types of stretching. Stretching on awakening to confirm that everything is still working –practiced mostly by the geriatric crowd, stretching into a yoga pretzel, stretching one’s credulity – something we are forced to do every day when confronted with the slanted news–and stretching for self-improvement.
My blessings include working very hard rehabbing old houses in Cincinnati most of the year (call me crazy, but I thrive on work) and then going to the sleepy town of Naharyia in Israel for about four months a year, spread out over two or three trips. When there, my Cincinnati business only takes several hours a day as I cannot be on site, cannot supervise, cannot do my daily twice, sometimes thrice, Home Depot (or Lowe’s) runs, and cannot nag the workers except by email. Now I have only myself (and my husband) to nag. I remind myself of my promises to myself that I will whip myself into shape, lose weight, get out those watercolors, write, and promote “Forty Days and Forty Nights, Rain, Rain, Rain”. This is truly a nasty job to beat myself up but who else will do it? My husband is too busy beating himself up.
After giving myself lots of excuses; catching up on the bookkeeping (takes about a week), getting over jet lag, getting acclimated to the rhino-weight humidity here, giving myself a well deserved rest, getting over jet lag. Oops, I think I just ran out of excuses.
Yesterday I took my beloved bike out of storage for a spin. Purchased three years ago I have been waiting for my husband to join me but finally gave up waiting. He would rather wear himself out by running on the treadmill and lifting weights. The bike fits my personality – it has one speed, one hand brake and can also be stopped by pedaling backwards. It’s old, reliable, past its prime and a little beat up—that’s me.
My off and on romance with biking never included learning how to use the gears. In fact, I probably didn’t bike for close to 40 years after dropping into a pothole on West 56th Street in New York, flying over the handlebars, and falling (skirt up) in the middle of the street in front of a moving taxi.
After a serious confrontation with my conscience, I biked seven miles yesterday with only one three minute break. It took an hour. Today I biked over ten miles (an hour and twenty minutes with no breaks), began writing this essay, and did a watercolor. My brain is overjoyed, my legs are like jelly and I fear for my sanity tomorrow. Being into one-upsmanship (with me and only me), what will happen tomorrow when I have to top this???
Stay tuned .