Off and on, for the past several months, my wife has strongly encouraged me to begin some sort of exercise regimen. The problem is, I’m kind of lazy.
I know I’m at an age where I can’t afford to be sedentary, but I don’t want to get up earlier in the morning than I already do and would much rather read or watch a ballgame at night then go to the gym and work up a sweat. I used to run over the noon hour, but used up so much time running and then showering that I often felt like I was starting the afternoon behind upon returning to work.
Yes — it’s excuses, excuses for this guy.
Perhaps my biggest reason for not getting back into some sort of routine, though, has been discomfort in my foot in the form of a bunion that I can only further aggravate while running — the only workout I’ve ever really done. A very brief attempt was made at working with weights, but I didn’t feel very comfortable or confident with them and, in retrospect, was probably too embarrassed or self-conscious to ask for assistance. I know I should probably do some kind of weight training and would only get more familiar (and less intimidated) with equipment with experience, but this kind of workout seems far less enthralling than a good run.
I think I reached a solution to my exercise dilemma, however, after heading down to Sheldon, Iowa, on Sunday. Why not try cycling?
Sheldon, of course, was on the route for the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), and it was amazing to see thousands upon thousands of cyclists pedaling their way across U.S. 18 and filling Sheldon’s city streets. It was a festival-like atmosphere inside Sheldon’s city park, with plenty of food and refreshments combined with kids’ activities and other goings-on. In short, it looked like a great party for all — riders, their respective entourages and people just showing up to watch. But how cool would it be to take part in, at least, one leg of RAGBRAI, never mind the whole deal?
Maybe that’s a silly question, considering Monday’s high heat index and the overall distance (a minimum of 491 miles this year over the course of a full week). I would imagine, though, that cycling with a large contingent of people — whether they be family, good friends, casual acquaintances or total strangers — would result in some sort of feeling of unity. And while riding RAGBRAI can’t really be put on the same tier of athletic achievement as, say, running a marathon (a far-fetched fantasy of mine even when I was running), it still would be a cool thing to cross off a Bucket List.
And … it would be a cool source of “Tales from the Chief” material, too. Check back next year to see if I can put the ol’ pedal to the metal and make it happen.