Just like last Monday, once again I was really in the mood to go mountain biking. For the second week in a row I decided to move my usual Monday leg workout to Tuesday and hit the trails!
You may recall from last Tuesday’s blog that over the course of the 31 mile ride through the forest I was eaten alive by mosquitoes, ticks, spiders and god knows what else. I was absolutely miserable in the days that followed that ride, and so this week I applied Repel Sportsman Max 40% DEET Insect Repellant. I also carried a pen-size pump spray in case I needed to re-apply while I was out on the trails. As it turns out, even though I was sweating quite heavily for several hours I found that the original application did the trick. When I completed my ride I was relieved to find no ticks on me (there were 5 last week) and I did not suffer even one mosquito or spider bite! I’ll never go out there without this stuff on again. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be 100% itch free this morning.
As for the ride, I did almost 19 miles, all off-road. I pushed the pace very hard in most spots (averaging 175-180 BPM while moving), but I also stopped several times to take photographs. This black and white image is one of my favorites from the trip. This section of the woods is incredibly striking and eerie in real life, and I attempted to capture that feeling on film. This photo along with several more from the trip can be found in this post to my photography journal In The Blink Of An Eye.
When I started my transformation back in 2003 there really was just one main goal: lose fat. Losing fat is a fantastic goal to start with when you’re overweight and unhappy with your appearance, but where do you go from there? Well, personally I started moving towards bodybuilding. For many years I ate and trained with the main goal of adding mass for the sake of adding mass. I enjoyed the challenge of bodybuilding quite a bit (most people have no idea just how much dedication it takes and how difficult it is to add significant amounts of muscle), but ultimately I realized that I was growing bored with the bulking/cutting/bulking thing. I decided that I needed to focus my love for fitness in other directions, and I’m really glad that I did.
I think it’s cool how the things I’m into now all relate back to being healthy. Mountain biking, photography, weight training, cooking, gardening… every single thing on that list benefits from all other things on that list! You might think, “How does being into photography having anything to do with lifting weights?” Well, I lift weights to improve my mountain biking; because I can bike for long distances over difficult terrain I can travel to cool places that would otherwise be unreachable to me; I can then photograph those places along with the creatures and plants that live there. Gardening? Same thing: I grow vegetables and herbs, and that inspires me to cook healthy dishes; healthy food gives me energy to live a healthy, active lifestyle.
When I think back to how my life was prior to 2003 I feel sad. I squandered many years of my life because I was too lazy to do something about the person I’d become. If you’re sick and tired of being unhealthy and out of shape then I encourage you to not let another day get by you. Life is way too short, and regrets have a nasty habit of piling up.