Find something and just try it

2014-05-25 06.26.49So many of us may be not doing any activity because we are waiting for the perfect exercise for our interest. Should I walk, bike, garden, lift weights, or what?!

This past Sunday was the Chicago, “Bike the Drive”, which was both a 15 mile and a 30 mile bicycle ride on Chicago’s most well-known street – the scenic and historic Lake Shore Drive.

I have never ridden very far on my bike before, but I often enjoy riding several miles for exercise. Plus, after a recurring pulled calf muscle injury from last year, I needed something active to do, instead of running. And as part of our ongoing support of healthy living in my department at work, some of us decided to sign up.

During the ride, they shut down Lake Shore Drive and some of us, who I work with, as well as MANY Chicagoans, happily participated.

2014-05-25 07.08.00Having a dog, I decided to wake up at 3:50am (Yes, I said am!!!) to take a shower and head there to begin by 6:30am, instead of doing the smart thing that some of my work friends did – they stayed at a hotel downtown. Never an easy thing to do that early on a weekend – especially on a holiday weekend like Memorial Day, when there’s nothing I’d rather do than sleep in for one morning.

However, this was one of the minor things on my “Bucket List” that I have wanted to do for years now. Plus, I wanted to be with, as well as support, my work-mates, who were raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charity.

I have to say that the morning was probably the most perfect morning I EVER enjoyed. It was cool enough to have the lightest of jackets, yet warm and sunny enough to keep me warm once I began getting into the ride.

At first there was confusion… I didn’t know where to park, where to begin the ride, or anything else. But the traffic pattern pushed me to park in the Museum of Science and Industry parking lot. It was really cool, because I literally pushed my bike out of the garage, got on it, and rode right onto Lake Shore Drive, into the race. But since it wasn’t a true race, I rode to Columbus and began at the starting point.

2014-05-25 08.23.23Once I got going, I was thinking how cool it was, riding the exact same route that I took for four years, while attending Loyola University’s Lake Shore Campus. With the sun and temperature being perfect, as well as being immersed in Chicago’s skyline and lake front, I felt like I had never felt before.

Strangely enough, early on, I felt very emotional – I literally said in my head, “Thank you God, for letting me be healthy enough and lucky enough, to be able to experience something this amazing, when I know so many others will never have the benefit of.”

Yes, I had “a moment”, which hit me pretty hard.

I was tire-to-tire with such a diverse mix of riders… it made me both happy and humble. I felt really sad seeing happy couples, talking and riding, when I was always alone doing my 5K runs as well as this ride. I saw an older gentleman, who had a huge beard and looked like a member of ZZ-Topp, riding a bike. I saw someone on a unicycle! I saw young kids… seasoned racers… all types of people. I think it was a combination of a lot of things going on in my life, but I felt very blessed.

So, we all rode to Sheradon Road and turned around. I got back to the starting line after 16 miles (which is a lot harder than you think!) and tossed around the idea of going another 15 miles to do 30 miles. But, since my pinched nerve made my right arm and hand full of pain and then go totally numb, as well as wanting to be able to see my work-mates, who began earlier than me and actually completed 30 miles, I went to the park, to hopefully meet them and hear some of the concert they have after these events.

2014-05-25 08.56.20I waited about 1/2 hour for my work-friend, Joanne, and luckily got to take the selfie with her, posted here.

Unfortunately, I never was able to hook up with other friends, Doug and Joanne, who also did 30 miles, before I rode back to the parking garage.

It all seemed to go by very quickly. The fun part is that they have bananas, apples, and other re-fueling snacks for free after you finish. Plus, I even got a free bike water bottle from one of the ride sponsors.

Sure… it was REALLY rough getting up at 3:50am for this, but it was one of those experiences that I wouldn’t have done anything different (aside from going another 15 miles and staying overnight locally!).

I had “a moment”, accomplished something on my bucket list and got to see some friends. Next year, I plan on doing it again and would probably stay overnight (like the smart people).

So, what I’m trying to say, is find something that is a little out of your comfort zone. Something that will make it worth exercising, and just try it. It may be running, biking, golf or even extreme gardening! Just try it.

TuesTrotsAlong those lines, I also want to bring up another activity I enjoy more than anything during my week… it is what we are calling “Tuesday Trots” this year. (Although, last year it was on Wednesday, so “Wednesday Walks” was much catchier a phrase and flowed so much better.)

A regular group of us in my work department walk around our beautiful Hamburger U campus, for a total of 3 miles. It honestly, is my FAVORITE time of the week! Yes, we MAY talk a little bit about work, but mostly it is us being silly and getting a little exercise in. I’m a big believer that we all perform better when we build personal relationships with our work-mates. And this is the perfect forum for that! I’ve made even better friends with both peers and leadership within our department. I highly suggest you become part of that or even begin your own “walking club!” Huge thanks in my life, to Colleen, Luis, Rosita, Cheri, Kelsey,Diana, Matt, Debbie, Doug, John, Neal, and anyone else I forgot to mention. You literally make my week!

So much fun that it makes exercise not seem like exercise!

Again… find something and just try it!

 

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3 Responses to Find something and just try it

  1. diana thomas says:

    Mike, Thank you so much for your ongoing leadership and support of helping our team stay healthy and engaged. I love reading your posts. I find them very inspiriting! You are a very special person and we are blessed to have you on the team. In particular this comment really hit home with me…” “Thank you God, for letting me be healthy enough and lucky enough, to be able to experience something this amazing, when I know so many others will never have the benefit of.”
    Just enjoying the time we can be active and if we are lucky being able to share it with friends and family is very precious. I sometimes can focus on what I wish I could be doing ….like more running instead of walking, but taking the time to enjoy what we are capable of doing is SO important. I will miss next week’s walk since I will be on vacation …in Disney so I am sure I will be getting my steps in. Take care and thanks for being you! Diana

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  2. funfitteam says:

    Thank you for the kind words, Diana. I really mean it that the Tuesday Walks are my favorite time of the week, and we are working on getting more people every week. Even just knowing that people read my posts make it worth the time it takes for me to write them (believe it or not, it takes me about 2 hours, from start to finish!). So, thank you for responding! And if I can just help motivate or sometimes educate someone even just a little bit – that is what I do this for.

    Yes, you will get plenty of steps at Disney! I will have to “friend” you on Fitbit to make sure! 😉

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  3. Pingback: Getting Back on Track | FunFitTeam

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