Thursday, April 30, 2009

Prologue "Find Your Own Bliss"

Isak Dinesen said to “write a little every day, without hope and without despair.” As an aspiring writer, I used this as my mantra, but it slowly stopped when I got a full time job and eventually…got married and became a father (twice). The stories that I wrote got some play online and then I stopped altogether.

I’ve never blogged and since I’m getting closer to the 4-0, I don’t feel the need to display my internal voice over the internet. That’s for the youth. Blogging, myspace friending, twittering, facebookn’…etc., I thought are reserved for those impressionable techie teens and tweens who actually have the time and the inclination. But since I started to think about my family and my health, I thought I’d put it down somewhere, maybe help me help myself. And if it inspires anyone else to do it, then it’s worth it my ramblings. To inspire is the key.

Let’s say it happened sometime after the birth of my first son. “It’s” something of a mid-life crisis where an adult male goes through this mildly insane transformation- where he needs to relive or restore something missing from his childhood. He decides to take of things not readily thought up as age-appropriate behavior. I took up surfing. I practiced brazilian jiu jitsu, judo, thai boxing with serious vigor. I had a 100lb. heavybag hanging in my basement that I hit for 20 minutes, two times a week. When the water temps got below 40 degrees, my wife and I took up snowboarding. When the snow melted, I bought a Carvestik- essentially a skateboard that can carve downhill like a snowboard or surfboard. And then I purchased a longboard skateboard for cruising. Which somehow, led me to the bike (which I’ll talk about soon…)

Why all these hobbies? “It’s not what you like but what you’re like as a person” (Los Campesinos!)  I can’t say for sure. I thought about quite a bit. At times I feel like I should prepare myself as my boys get older so I can show them some things I never had as a kid. I want them to experience everything and take in what they feel they have a passion about. Or as Joseph Campbell said,”find their own bliss.” I hope they do find it early enough. 

Other times, I feel selfish, almost guilty and irresponsible. Thank God my wife Eve has the patience of Job and lets me do these things. And it’s not something I display to my friends. 

The plus side is the stress-relieving/fitness/gut busting/fountain-of-youth feeling you get. It’s better than crack. Those of you who know- you know who you are…you adrenaline addicts- know what the heck I’m talking about here. When I was at my peak, during my fitness regime, I lost 30 lbs. of fat, had less than 6% body-fat, and a resting heart rate of 39 bpm.

But that was a couple years ago. We sold our house and moved into another one. Last June, we had our second child. Much to our pleasure, he wasn’t a great sleeper and sleep dep led me and my wife into a downward spiral.  And almost every night since then, my wife and I self-medicated with Klondike bars, Carvel cake, carbs, chips and candy.  Needless to say, I gained weight, I lose my wind going up three flights of stairs and I’ve gotten lazy, despondent and look like a hot mess. We both had no time to work out let alone take care of two kids, a house, a full-time job AND ourselves.

Something needed to be done. Soon. Enter the bike.

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