Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Could Feel It

Saturday’s Bike Ride (8/21/10) + Sneaky Evening Exercise

One of the things that has surprised me about my first August in Texas is that in the mid-day heat, riding a bike is not only do-able but even fun.  My favorite pen pal tells me he has a theory that the relative comfort of bike-riding has to do with dry heat and evaporation: even though you sweat on the bike, you’ve got the breeziness of a bike ride to keep you cool.  Whatever the reason, I am grateful, because it means that even when I find myself biking home from A & M’s campus at 2 PM, I won’t die of heatstroke.

Yesterday’s bike ride was another working commute: about 25 minutes nonstop to campus and the same back, with a long pitstop at Brazos Natural Foods, where I thought my grocery bill would shock and appall me, but I only spent about thirty bucks!  And I got organic cheese, butter, pourable wildberry yogurt, and lots of bulk pantry goodies like flour, sugar, and oats.  It was a very successful shopping trip, and the bike ride was great too.  On my way to work in the morning, I got swept up in a crew of professional-looking cyclists, and one of them shouted to me, “Come with us!”  I laughed and shouted back, “I’d love to!”  And it was true: I could feel the zippy positive energy of their crowd and the power of their legs pushing them forward on two wheels.  It was very exciting!  I wouldn’t mind getting up on Saturday morning to ride with friends like that.

Now, if I may backtrack a bit, I’ll tell you about my sneaky exercise strategy.  Some nights I have the best of intentions to do some form of exercise, but it just doesn’t work out.  So I resort to a very quick and sneaky work-out.  For example, on Friday night I wanted to do some Pilates, but I kept finding other things I needed to do around the house and time ran out on me.  Instead of staying up later, I put on some fun, upbeat music, set a timer, and for six minutes, I did push-ups, bicycle twists, squats, plank pose, and some marching in place to keep my heart rate up between moves.  Then the timer went off, and I was done.  I like this quick-and-dirty approach because it’s very focused: all you’ve got to do is keep moving for a few minutes and you can do a lot of strength-building moves in a short period of time.  I resort to this strategy when I’m feeling crunched for time, and it never fails to remind me that even a few minutes of exercise is better than nothing.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful strategy, except for the push-ups, bicycle twists, squats... I obviously need the wimp's version of this workout!

  2. Laurie, what about...
    -push-ups done on your knees?
    -just a few bicycle twists?
    -the Pilates hundred? That one's very effective, and you don't have to do it a hundred times to feel the results ;-)

    I also like what I've heard called the banana: you lay on your back with your arms stretched above your head, then lift your legs, arms, and abs to make the shape of a banana. The legs come up just a bit, so you use a lot of abdominal power to keep them lifted.

    Wimps need exercise too :-)