The office lifestyle has left me much heavier than I used to be. Of course, there's a direct relationship between my mass and weight, at least from the perspective of my office chair. I've been a desk jockey for about 10 years now.
You see, I'm a geek. Web programming and design is about as geeky as you can get. I love gadgets, too. If it has a lowercase “i” preceding the name, I probably have it. And, I watch and read a lot of science fiction. Cue dorky image with glasses and pocket protector.
The problem is that I'm about the laziest geek you'll ever know. When sitting at the keyboard, I weave intricate threads of computer code that magically transform into virtual landscapes. Seeing a real landscape, though, is what I long for, but getting motivated has always been an issue. I figured I need to get out more, and get some much needed exercise. How was I going to accomplish this?
I immediately relegated it to the far back burner of my mental stove.
I recently visited a good friend of mine, Clemente. He used to be the weather guy for a television station, but now works as a media professional, a desk job. The last time we met in person was a few months ago, and he was about my weight (no offense, Clemente). Not anymore. He was slender, and looked really good. The transformation was amazing!
Now, Clemente won't mind if I say he's a geek, since he has all the “i” devices, too. I asked him how he lost weight so well, since I was looking for pointers myself. He may as well have said, “Well, Matthew, I bought some magic fairy dust, and...” because he actually said, “Bicycle riding.”
Whoa. I didn't even own a bike, and perish the thought of riding one. But, the more I saw Clemente's Facebook postings of how he rode 18 miles here, 20 miles there, and so on, I figured I'd better get with the program. Peer pressure had gotten the best of me.
So I went out and bought a cheap bike from the department store. After fiddling with all the doohickies on it (to be sure I wasn't going to kill myself when it falls into a thousand pieces), I decided I would take a little 2-mile ride around the neighborhood.
Now, the geek in me decided I would download a cool app to my smartphone so I could track my progress. So I did, and started out on my first real adventure.
First few blocks weren't bad. I was free, wind blowing through my hair, flying along gracefully, the scenery painting a beautiful picture... wait. Now it was uphill.
Soon a crew of miniature construction workers were running jackhammers under my kneecaps. A blasting demolition team was hard at work in my lower back. Molten lava was flowing through the veins in my calves. And a bilge pump from an old fishing boat was flapping inside my chest as my lungs gasped for every breath.
Oh, yeah. Need to downshift.
Now instead of feeling like I was pulling a truck behind me, my feet were having to go ten times faster than before to go the same distance. The bilge pump heaved even harder. The lava grew hotter.
My mind was racing with remorse. Why did I buy this bike again? Hope I kept the receipt. Can I return this dorky helmet, too? Oh, look, a squirrel!
Finally, I topped what seemed to be Mount Everest and I paused there, catching my breath, watching cars and trucks scream by on the highway. Then I realized my geeky app was still recording. I'd better get moving. My route turned onto a short stretch of highway.
Riding along a narrow highway shoulder of about 2 feet wide does not give you much comfort when 18-wheelers are flying by you at 55 miles per hour. I think I could smell the burger and fries from one car when it passed so close to me.
Only a couple of blocks ahead and I'll be almost home. Home. So glad to be home. I rode up into the garage and dismounted. I almost immediately collapsed into a puddle of warm jello as my legs turned to rubber. I tried to walk but realized that my brain forgot how. I managed to make it to the living room after knocking over a trash can, three dining chairs, and my daughter.
What was I thinking? They always say, “no pain, no gain”. I should have gained a lot today.
I melted into the sofa, then realized that I needed to turn off my geeky app. Once a geek, always a geek.