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  1. #1
    I married a witch.
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    Pre Midlife Crisis, Return to Fitness, Support Group

    I noticed a trend.

    It was commented that there's a good number of 30 something guys getting into off road cycling for the weight loss and health benefits it can offer.

    I'll admit, it's a good portion of why I'm here.

    I figured, that a place where folks could go to share their successes, look for support, and cry over their failures was in order.

    Maybe share what you're doing as to diet, and other fitness aids. Running, gym time, etc.


    Welcome

    So, like any support group, I suppose I should introduce myself, and describe why I am here...

    Hi, I'm Fred (chorus of "Hi Fred), I've found myself in my mid 30's and not in the shape I had hoped to be. I'm being outworked by men twice my age, and utterly shamed by them dang kids in their 20's. I've become a body at rest, and have been staying at rest. I want to get my motion back.

    My (current) bike
    I picked up a '98 Giant Sedona at a yard sale. Rode it with the front derailleur wedged to keep the chain on the outside gear, and putted here and there locally when it was too far to walk, but too close to drive. I finally rebuilt it, new cables, housings, chain, and rear cassette, and decided to get rolling.

    Digital Assistance

    I found a fitness tracking app for my phone (mapmyrun.com) and have been using that to keep motivated. I hate seeing blank spots on the calendar. Even to the point that while I knew I wouldn't be able to ride yesterday, I wanted some miles so I went for a run/walk, and logged that.

    Diet

    I'm not doing anything too special. The wife has some control, since she does (most of) the shopping, and has a wheat allergy herself. So, we've been cutting some carbs out of the household diet. I'm trying to cut back on my sugar intake. That's pretty much it so far.

    Other

    I tried running. A bit of advice, music helps, a lot. A good tempo, and your feet just find that rhythm. It helped me a little too much. I found one song that had a perfect cadence to a very comfortable pace for me. I ran beyond my "limit" and I've had tight legs for the last two days. Stairs are interesting, to say the least. I also picked up one of those combo chin up and dips stands. Some advice there, make sure your ceilings are high enough. Also, unless you have plenty of room for fitness equipment, try finding one with all the equipment on one side. This way you can back it up to a wall, instead of having to have it in the middle of a room. Put it somewhere in the way too. That way you can hop on it and do a couple reps each time you pass by it.



    Anyone else there in the same boat? Or will this end up being a sad little blog about my own efforts?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pre Midlife Crisis, Return to Fitness, Support Group-week-3-begins.jpg  

    Last edited by Flying-Monkey; 04-24-2012 at 07:08 AM.
    Be respectful to the disrespectful, wise to the unwise, caring to the uncaring, courteous to the uncourteous.
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  2. #2
    Sweep the leg!
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    Every journey begins with a first step. As one of the old guys whipping-up on the younger guys I hear you. I get it more when I take the hard hat and safety glasses off at work but it's the same comment when I take the helmet and glasses off after a ride. They see the balding head and grey hairs and ask "how old are you?"

    Age is a mental state to me. I don't let it get to me and except for racing in the Master's categories more than in the Open or 1,2,3's, not much has changed for me at 47.

    Don't worry about how far you're riding as much as how often you're getting on the bike. Apps are nice, but I don't need them to know I get cranky if I haven't ridden today.

    Have a good ride today!
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  3. #3
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    It's funny that your name "Fred" is actually a derogatory term used among roadies. That being said, we're MTB'ers here... so welcome!

    I'm Dion and I'm 37 years old.

    When I was 12, I discovered freestyle BMX and for the next 5 years, I was OBSESSED with all things freestyle. The clothing, the magazines, the lifestyle. When I turned 17, it all basically went to hell when I had my first girlfriend and I quit.

    As all young relationships go, it didn't last, and got kind of fat - I've always been a big kid, so packing on the weight was no problemo.

    Around 18-19 yrs. old, I got heavily into competitive bodybuilding (when it was still a straight man's sport) and I competed in the middleweight class (185lbs.) and placed in a few shows. Things were going pretty good, when alas, I met my first wife - and then it all went to sh|t again.

    I didn't get fat, but I just got lazy and depressed. I was racing motorcycles at the time, but I was also broke. I left her (she was a HORRIBLE wife), had to move back in with my parents and basically hit the reset button.

    A career change and meeting my current wife (yah!), I felt I was missing something in my life. I tried MMA - but that didn't do anything for me. I tried to get back into bodybuilding, but I hated being indoors... I really missed the feeling I got when I was 14 - that excitement to be on a bike... even if it was just pedaling around town bunny hopping piles of leaves.

    I experimented with all kinds of bikes... pretty much everything (even BMX), but found my love for MTB'ing which kind of marries my love for riding, my love for the outdoors, and my love for being out on the trails (derived from my motorcycle background).

    I ride 60-100 miles a week, 5 rides a week. I raced Sea Otter yesterday, and I have nowhere to go but to improve. I've realized that for some (like myself) this kind of fitness may take years before I can be "one of the fast guys" - but I really work hard on what I have. I did a season of cyclocross, which taught me a lot. Natural ability only goes so far, but then hard work comes into play. Since I have no natural ability for cross-country (nor do I have the body type), all I can do is work hard and hope it pays off in future years.

    I've been riding full bore since 2008. That's four solid years of bustin' my ass with hopes of someday being among the fast(er) group. I am no longer dead last in group rides, which is nice. My sight is on next year's Sea Otter, and I'm already planning my game. I'd like to come in at 200lbs or under for next year. I walk around at 215 currently; I get pretty jealous of the svelte racer types, but I've learned to live with my body and work hard - it's the only thing I can do since I will never be a skinny racer. Even when I was bodybuilding, I was 185 at 3% body fat - so there is no way I'll ever be a skinny racer without looking like the Crypt Keeper.

    Unfortunately (in terms of riding), wife and I are trying to have a baby, so I have to limit my riding down to 1-2 a week for about a month in a half . But when that's all over, I'm HTFU, putting my head down, and working towards my goals. I use a Garmin heart rate monitor to track my progress.

    Riding for me is less about fitness and more about spirituality. I know that sounds hokey, but to me, it's the only time I get to "connect". My wife doesn't get it, but when I'm out there with all those animals, the trail, the sky... you just can't get that in the gym. I recall riding 8 miles 3X a week, on flat ground. Then that turned to 20 miles a ride, 3X a week with a 800ft. climb... then next thing you know, you're riding a century with 6000ft. of climbing. Then racing and personal records. Luckily, I have a brother that's been riding and racing since 1987, who pushes me really hard.

    The more you ride, the more you look at the next level.

    I still go to the gym 1-2 times a week, and that's going to increase while I have to stay off the sperm-killing saddle. I run a mile, throw some weights around, and stretch - but NOTHING compares to riding. It's my love.

    Oh, I am a full-on vegetarian, too.

    Pre Midlife Crisis, Return to Fitness, Support Group-dsc_1524.jpg
    Last edited by Dion; 04-23-2012 at 03:21 PM.

  4. #4
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    I agree abt spiritual experience more than a fitness tool. If anything I have gained a large amount of weight since I started biking. And is pretty high impact too. Not to mention the occasional injury. My most recent occasional injury occurred yesterday morning and xrays indicate 2 fibular fractures right above my rt ankle. Goodbye bike for several months.

  5. #5
    I married a witch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered View Post
    Age is a mental state to me. I don't let it get to me and except for racing in the Master's categories more than in the Open or 1,2,3's, not much has changed for me at 47.

    Don't worry about how far you're riding as much as how often you're getting on the bike. Apps are nice, but I don't need them to know I get cranky if I haven't ridden today.

    Have a good ride today!
    Funny, I was out giving the road bike a goodbye ride while you were writing this.

    I'm trying to ride SOME, every day. As you can see, there's gaps. I will do something to get the body moving each day, if I can. Even if it's not logged. The App is a tool, to help get me out there. Looking at those blank spots makes me ask myself, what was so important, that I couldn't do at least a circuit or two around the block.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    It's funny that your name "Fred" is actually a derogatory term used among roadies. That being said, we're MTB'ers here... so welcome!
    Now I NEED to know the story behind "Fred".

    Ok, maybe that isn't better.

    If it makes it any better, that's my middle name, my first name is actually Wilbur.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr View Post
    I agree abt spiritual experience more than a fitness tool. If anything I have gained a large amount of weight since I started biking. And is pretty high impact too. Not to mention the occasional injury. My most recent occasional injury occurred yesterday morning and xrays indicate 2 fibular fractures right above my rt ankle. Goodbye bike for several months.
    Part of the reason I'm giving up road cycling, is that it doesn't help clear the pallet, so to speak, as trail riding does. I find that I am so focused on the turns, soft spots, and other obstacles, I don't have room in my head for any of the day's stresses.

    Thanks for joining in guys.
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  6. #6
    B.Ike
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    I hate to say it but bike riding isn't the greatest tool for weight loss. I ride between 2 to 4 times a week and notice little if any weight loss over time (230#). You have to cut calories to loose weight. Fitness however is another matter, at 38 i'm in better shape than I've been since high school.

  7. #7
    Red October
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    It's funny that your name "Fred" is actually a derogatory term used among roadies. That being said, we're MTB'ers here... so welcome!
    I raced Sea Otter yesterday, and I have nowhere to go but to improve.
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    Sea Otter rocks, and it's Phred...not Fred

    Quote Originally Posted by elwoodturner View Post
    I hate to say it but bike riding isn't the greatest tool for weight loss. I ride between 2 to 4 times a week and notice little if any weight loss over time (230#). You have to cut calories to loose weight. Fitness however is another matter, at 38 i'm in better shape than I've been since high school.
    I disagree and the evidence totally supports me, if you ride AND control you diet, you will lose a ton. Ive done it, its actually easy. If you ride little rides, then "feedbag" for an hour, its not going to be so easy. The bottom line is if you are calorie negative 500 calories a day for 5 days, you'll lose a pound. It doesn't matter if you eat 500 less (which is really hard for most foks), or burn 500 more. Its absurdly easy to burn 500 to 1000 calories a day riding. My road rides are usually in the 2300-2800 range. It takes discipline, and one thing I had the hardest time learning was that I only answer to myself. And I am my worst critic. You can always talk yourself out of a ride or into a fat, juicy cheeseburger if you try, so don't try.

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  8. #8
    the half breed devil
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    i am fifty, fred.

    i ride 3 or four times a week now that i'm unemployed.

    since i started riding regularly and fairly hard last august, my weight has gone from 192 to 167 or somewhere thereabouts.

    when i first started riding again (following a period of 3-4 years of just occasional rides), my range was only 1-1-1/2 or 15-20 miles per ride. i was still commuting six miles each way every day rain or shine on a bike, but my daily route was pretty much the Sickening Commute Of Hate and all i wanted to do at the end of every day was to get OFF the streets of san francisco and OFF of that goddamned bicycle. pedaling my bike had become synonymous with anger and frustration, thus driving the joy of off road cycling from my system for a while...

    now, my average is about twenty eight miles per ride. i've ridden 1650 mostly off road miles already this year.

    why did i start riding so much more in august of 2012?

    the employer laid off for a month and a new warranty replacement bicycle came to me, replacing a frame that cracked at the top tube/seat tube junction.

    i also cut back on my sugar intake but that's the only change i made in my diet. grilled meats are near and dear to my heart...

    if you truly love what you're doing and why you're doing it, success will come to you in the form of happiness...

    my post is no longer coherent. keep riding that sedona and have fun!

    btw, i use the free strava app to track my rides.

  9. #9
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    Hi Fred! Welcome to the group!

    I'm 37 as of last week. I've always been way into sports (7 varsity letters in football, wrestling and baseball) and was very active as a kid growing up, lifted weights at and after school every day, have a very active and outdoorsy family. Got into competive volleyball in college, transferred to the U of Utah so I could take advantage of the word-class riding and skiing just minutes from my door. I worked my class schedule out so I could ski M-W-F in the winter, and had huge blocks of time for extended riding several days a week as well. Also worked part time at a gym during the last couple years of undergrad, could get in 90 min of cardio and about 2 hrs of free weights a day keeping an eye on the desk, other employees and so forth. When I graduated w/ my bachelors, I was 6', 222 lbs w/ about 9% body fat. So I was in pretty good shape, exercising a ton, eating pretty much whatever I wanted.

    Started grad school (law school) at 27. Was not completely ready to spend 16 hrs a day sitting and reading or in class (sounds impossible, but it is true). Did not have time to work out, ride, hike, or do anything regularly (when I tried, I felt so guilty and anxious about getting back to studying, it was just not any fun). Did not adjust my eating. Oh, and I got married during winter break. I finished first year at about 240# w/ a very different body composition. Decided to get back on the bike that summer. Went knee first into a rock my 2nd ride out, partially severed my patellar tendon, completely off my feet for 6 weeks. So much for getting back in shape! Found some balance during 2nd year, lost some weight, feeling better. Than my wife becomes pregnant, child born ... pack the weight back on. Graduate at 255# ...

    Things don't get any better -- life as a young associate is as demanding as law school, perhaps moreso. Another baby, 9 hr work days w/ an hour commute to work each way, and I have money to eat whatever I want. 2 yrs later, 270#. Semi consistent gym efforts for a month or 2, then fall off. Riding the mtb is no fun -- hills are torture, not worth the effort. Consequently, bike collects a lot of dust.

    Change firms to one 12 miles from my house, less demanding and more flexible work schedule. I buy a road bike, start commuting. Loving it. Drop down to 225# in about a year, feeling lots better. Third pregnancy comes, this one with lots of bed rest, complications, etc, for my wife. I'm too freaked out to do anything but work and rush home (in the car) to keep my wife off her feet. Lots of take-out, no exercise, didn't touch either bike for about 7 months. Back up to 265#. Somehow, my blood pressure, cholesterol, everything else is great (perfect life insurance score except for weight). But the weight is still on. Geez ...

    And now I'm back at it. I've been losing 2-5 lbs a month but steadily for about a year (except for a 3-month window this winter when I [thankfuly] held even over the holidays). I don't diet, per se, but dropping out the sweets, ice cream, and needlessly calorie-laden lunches -- something I feel I can maintain the rest of my life. And fortunately riding a lot more! Commuting (w/ long way home when possible) on the bike, get in a few sets of weights before showering at the gym, taking 1-2 afternoons off for the mtb. Way more invigorated for riding than I've been in many years.

    Sights are set on 200# by the end of the year!
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  10. #10
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    And there lie my problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by mellowdave View Post
    .....If you ride little rides, then "feedbag" for an hour, its not going to be so easy.....

  11. #11
    I married a witch.
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    Yeah, I've been doing "longer" short runs, cutting on the snacks, and trying to be more mindful of what I do eat, when I ingest "food".

    I had a few... bites of ice cream last night. I put the little pint cup back in the fridge half full.
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  12. #12
    Digging in the pain cave.
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    Fred, we must be long lost brothers. PM me if you want and accountability partner. My name is AJ, 40 and my situation mirrors yours. Right now I'm at 6' and 180. That my not sound bad but I have sticks for arms and my cardio is nowhere to be found. Most likely it is stuck under that spare tire I'm carrying. I will be honest though. Mountain bike riding is not my primary area of interest. *GASP* I'm one of those elite, snobbish roadie guys. Well, not elite nor snobbish. Just a roadie who tried something last year and fell in love with it. That thing...cyclocross racing. I have never hurt so bad while having the time of my life while doing it. I fell hook, line and sinker for it. I'm on this forum for the tips and info on trail riding which should help me later in cross season.

    Usually I ride about 1k road miles a year which isn't much at all. Maybe ride for three months out of the year and call it a day. I want to ride more but lack the motivation to do it. I have the gear but not the drive. My wife and I even joined the YMCA. Do you think I have went? Nope. The usual reasons come up. Tired, busy, don't feel like it, etc. Sometimes I look at the bikes in my stable and think about why did I even buy this stuff of I don't use it. I think the biggest problem is my work schedule. I work nights for 12hrs a day from 5p-5a. Most days I'm just to tired to get up early to ride. Maybe I should ride at like 6a and then go to bed. Wonder how that will work? Ride and then try and sleep.

    As for eating, I am watching what I eat but I do relent more than I should. My downfall is iced coffee or Mtn Dew Code Red. Take blood, you will see. I think if I lose 10-15 lbs and work on the cardio, things will be better for me later in the fall for the cross season. A site I use to track my mileage is bikejournal.com. I did go out yesterday for a quick 30 minute ride and felt great afterwards. Maybe is was the iced coffee I had after. Gotta get motivated. HELP! Below is a pic of me bringing up the rear at my first cross race in the Chicago Cross Cup Series in 2011.


  13. #13
    the half breed devil
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    Quote Originally Posted by midschool22 View Post
    Fred, we must be long lost brothers. PM me if you want and accountability partner. My name is AJ, 40 and my situation mirrors yours. Right now I'm at 6' and 180. That my not sound bad but I have sticks for arms and my cardio is nowhere to be found. Most likely it is stuck under that spare tire I'm carrying. I will be honest though. Mountain bike riding is not my primary area of interest. *GASP* I'm one of those elite, snobbish roadie guys. Well, not elite nor snobbish. Just a roadie who tried something last year and fell in love with it. That thing...cyclocross racing. I have never hurt so bad while having the time of my life while doing it. I fell hook, line and sinker for it. I'm on this forum for the tips and info on trail riding which should help me later in cross season.

    Usually I ride about 1k road miles a year which isn't much at all. Maybe ride for three months out of the year and call it a day. I want to ride more but lack the motivation to do it. I have the gear but not the drive. My wife and I even joined the YMCA. Do you think I have went? Nope. The usual reasons come up. Tired, busy, don't feel like it, etc. Sometimes I look at the bikes in my stable and think about why did I even buy this stuff of I don't use it. I think the biggest problem is my work schedule. I work nights for 12hrs a day from 5p-5a. Most days I'm just to tired to get up early to ride. Maybe I should ride at like 6a and then go to bed. Wonder how that will work? Ride and then try and sleep.

    As for eating, I am watching what I eat but I do relent more than I should. My downfall is iced coffee or Mtn Dew Code Red. Take blood, you will see. I think if I lose 10-15 lbs and work on the cardio, things will be better for me later in the fall for the cross season. A site I use to track my mileage is bikejournal.com. I did go out yesterday for a quick 30 minute ride and felt great afterwards. Maybe is was the iced coffee I had after. Gotta get motivated. HELP! Below is a pic of me bringing up the rear at my first cross race in the Chicago Cross Cup Series in 2011.

    good lord! 5A-5P?!? do you work for union pacific or BNSF?!?!

  14. #14
    Digging in the pain cave.
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    5p to 5a. The night crew. I do like being on nights although finding riding time is difficult at times. I should say that it is not a traditional Monday-Friday schedule. It's an alternate work schedule like working two on and then two off. I have 3 to 4 days off a week depending on the week. My schedule looks like this for a two week run at a time-

    Monday-on
    Tuesday-on
    Wednesday-off
    Thursday-off
    Friday-on
    Saturday-on
    Sunday-on
    Monday-off
    Tuesday-off
    Wednesday-on
    Thursday-on
    Friday-off
    Saturday-off
    Sunday-off

    Repeat.
    Last edited by midschool22; 04-25-2012 at 01:30 AM.

  15. #15
    the half breed devil
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    Quote Originally Posted by midschool22 View Post
    5p to 5a. The night crew. I do like being on nights although finding riding time is difficult at times.
    hats off to you. somebody has to do it!

  16. #16
    I married a witch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by midschool22 View Post
    Below is a pic of me bringing up the rear at my first cross race in the Chicago Cross Cup Series in 2011.

    Well no wonder you were last. Didn't you notice that everyone else was RIDING their bikes?
    Be respectful to the disrespectful, wise to the unwise, caring to the uncaring, courteous to the uncourteous.
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  17. #17
    Sweep the leg!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying-Monkey View Post
    Well no wonder you were last. Didn't you notice that everyone else was RIDING their bikes?
    That's what I thought too!
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  18. #18
    Digging in the pain cave.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered View Post
    That's what I thought too!
    So THAT'S what I did wrong....

  19. #19
    the half breed devil
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwoodturner View Post
    I hate to say it but bike riding isn't the greatest tool for weight loss. I ride between 2 to 4 times a week and notice little if any weight loss over time (230#). You have to cut calories to loose weight. Fitness however is another matter, at 38 i'm in better shape than I've been since high school.
    i disagree based on personal experience. see my previous post. the only major change i made in my diet was reducing my sugar intake.

  20. #20
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    So, Iím 43. About 5-6 years ago, with two kids and an office job, I realized that it wasnít a fun house mirror I was looking at in the bathroom. It was just me getting a fat a$$. I had, in the previous decade, made some attempts to get fit again, but most petered out. Swimming (when I had gone back to school and had access) was great, but after I no longer had easy access to a pool, that became much more difficult to prioritize.

    What got me back into regular activity and fitness was actually running. The thing was, I could never seem to create enough space and time to do some of these other things like swimming, going to a gym, etc. So, I figured, if I get a pair of running shoes, all I have to do is walk out the door and Iím there. And it worked. I started running regularly and within a year signed up for a triathlon. Nothing grueling, just a sprint tri. But it gave me something to work toward and I did get on a training schedule for that. I did ok and I have run a few races since then, but after that, and adding biking and swimming, I was hooked on staying fit.

    Fast forward a few years and I started picking up more regular biking. First road biking, and then I found a good CL deal and started hitting the trails with a friend. Now all my other fitness is geared toward improving my mountain biking. I still run once or twice a week (3 milers or one 6 miler) and ride between 2 and 4+ hours on a weekend day. And commuting. But I live pretty close to work, so thatís just enough to get the blood moving each day. I love it!

    The thing that I will say about the difference between road riding and trail riding is the state of mind when ďin the zone.Ē For road riding (and running, too) you really have to find that space to NOT think Ė to just be in the moment and let those miles click by. It can be a challenge to push those daily worries aside, but I find its good training for life overall.

    But trail riding is something else entirely. As someone said, you really donít have time to think or worry about anything other than the trail in front of you. Which puts you right in the moment from the start. And thatís pretty exhilarating for me, especially when my windows of time are small and I have to get down to business. I still like to balance that out with other forms of exercise, but at the moment (and for the last 2 years) all my activity is ultimately geared (no pun intended) toward making my trail riding chops better. I donít race, I donít have a computer, I donít worry too much about how far I have gone, how many feet in elevation I gained or anything like that. I just work to push myself harder, go further, explore new areas, and have lots of fun. It helps to have a good riding partner or two, but its not necessary (I have tomorrow off so Iíll be going on a long solo ride). Though I do find I push myself harder when riding with someone else.

    As for weight loss and all of that, I find that at the amount of exercise I do I really donít have to worry too much about over eating. This for me is more the tendency when I am inactive (and/or eating poorly) as my body starts to crave all kinds of bad stuff. But in the last few years, I really donít get sucked into ďrecreational eatingĒ as much and what I do eat is better for me. Which isnít to say I donít eat ice cream and drink beer. But thatís all both more justifiable and enjoyable in the context of a 40 mile ride. I donít have a scale, but my guess from doctors visits is that I lost about 25 lbs in the last 4 years. Nothing huge (and I wasnít all that overweight, mostly just soft, pudgy and out of shape) but I am perfectly happy with my weight.

    Also, unless you are on particular weight loss regimen, losing weight through good diet and exercise does take time. But I think itís a more effective and long lasting approach to weight control.

  21. #21
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    30 years old, guess I had my crisis early. Grew up playing soccer and basketball and continued with that through high school. Went to college and got as fat as lazy as a young man can be (went from 140 lbs to 195 lbs in 2 years). When I got home from college I started running and bought a stair climber which I used religiously for a couple years. I changed my diet to exclude all beverages that weren't water with the exception of the occasional beer or wine. I've been living in the 145-160 lb range ever since. Got back into soccer playing in an adult league a couple years ago but found all those years of neglect left my knees in poor condition to handle all the lateral movement and change of direction. A few MCL sprains later I hung up my cleats. I'd noticed the explosion of road biking post-Lance but really wasn't feeling lycra and didn't want to get hit by a car. I stumbled on to the idea of mountain biking. It was a warm winter in NJ so I bought a used bike and hit the local trails once or twice a week for the past 4 months. I have an infant daughter who my wife stays home with and trying to spend time with her and give my wife a break makes it difficult to get out (I'm a 9-5er). I'm hoping as the days get longer and I can get out more often. It's a fun sport even though I have no skills and barring serious injury it's something I can enjoy long term and take me some places I probably never would have traveled. Oh and just to confirm, weight loss (not fitness) is all about calories in and out. You don't even need to exercise to lose weight if you cut enough calories but exercise and a healthy diet are the optimal way to do it for long term health and fitness.

  22. #22
    bust a move
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    Hi Fred,

    Good thread to start and good to hear others relate. @wahday, well said and much of it is true for me. I had my first "life crisis" (non ocd) at 39ish years old and I am in the midst of my second one currently which does involve ocd.

    I have been overweight since somewhere around 12 years old and I have not been under 200 lbs (until this Feb.) since I was 17 years old. I have the body type that carries a lot of weight without appearing fat to other people. That has not helped motivate me to do much about it over the years. The first time I realized I had to do something about my fitness was just before the year 2000. That is when my wife and I started biking every weekend on rail trails then shortly after started mtb and have not looked back since. We gained fitness but I did not lose much weight even biking 3 to 4 times a week.

    Last June we planned a big (for us) mtb trip through the southwest for this year. We have heard many stories of flatlanders getting schooled with the sustained climbs and elevation while vacationing so, I decided to htfu and get myself into the best shape I could muster. I started at 233lbs and went from riding 4 days to 6 days a week from June through Nov. and pretty much 7 days a week since Dec. with lots of intervals and bridge repeats. The weight has decreased and the strength/fitness exceeds any other time in my life. I have ridden the last 113 days straight and this morning I weighed 188. I have made a couple major but mostly many minor adjustments to diet and portion size. I do not underestimate how quickly I will gain the weight back without continuing to be vigilant and dedicated to living healthy. I now am invested in my fitness and for the first time in my adult life that I feel like I am at a normal size for me. I am fortunate in being able to make some adjustments in my life to accommodate so much riding but I am not regretting it. Good luck to those working on it and to those maintaining.

  23. #23
    the half breed devil
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitanan View Post
    Hi Fred,

    Good thread to start and good to hear others relate. @wahday, well said and much of it is true for me. I had my first "life crisis" (non ocd) at 39ish years old and I am in the midst of my second one currently which does involve ocd.

    I have been overweight since somewhere around 12 years old and I have not been under 200 lbs (until this Feb.) since I was 17 years old. I have the body type that carries a lot of weight without appearing fat to other people. That has not helped motivate me to do much about it over the years. The first time I realized I had to do something about my fitness was just before the year 2000. That is when my wife and I started biking every weekend on rail trails then shortly after started mtb and have not looked back since. We gained fitness but I did not lose much weight even biking 3 to 4 times a week.

    Last June we planned a big (for us) mtb trip through the southwest for this year. We have heard many stories of flatlanders getting schooled with the sustained climbs and elevation while vacationing so, I decided to htfu and get myself into the best shape I could muster. I started at 233lbs and went from riding 4 days to 6 days a week from June through Nov. and pretty much 7 days a week since Dec. with lots of intervals and bridge repeats. The weight has decreased and the strength/fitness exceeds any other time in my life. I have ridden the last 113 days straight and this morning I weighed 188. I have made a couple major but mostly many minor adjustments to diet and portion size. I do not underestimate how quickly I will gain the weight back without continuing to be vigilant and dedicated to living healthy. I now am invested in my fitness and for the first time in my adult life that I feel like I am at a normal size for me. I am fortunate in being able to make some adjustments in my life to accommodate so much riding but I am not regretting it. Good luck to those working on it and to those maintaining.
    113 days straight! great day in the morning! i was impressed with my buddy who had ridden 23 or 24 days straight until he broke his leg on the 23rd or 24th day!

  24. #24
    bust a move
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    Unfortunately it has been 85% road riding but, we have had spring like conditions in Central FL since mid October.

    In about a week it will be 90 degrees plus here for the next 5 months.

  25. #25
    the half breed devil
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitanan View Post
    Unfortunately it has been 85% road riding but, we have had spring like conditions in Central FL since mid October.

    In about a week it will be 90 degrees plus here for the next 5 months.
    road riding is not entirely a bad thing...

    Mountain Bike Training on a Road Bike

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    i disagree based on personal experience. see my previous post. the only major change i made in my diet was reducing my sugar intake.
    of course YMMV. Every body is different, and where you are starting from makes a big difference. For me, at least, I see results from cutting calories. Bike riding alone has proven slow in the weight loss department. When I got back into riding a little over two years ago I bought a SS and I think I build muscle along with losing weight and a nearly equal ratio. I'm built like a line man and put on muscle ridiculously fast. (In my twenties I'd get stretch mark after a week of lifting weights). My senior year of high school I played football at 220 and the dropped to 190 for wrestling season. At 38 I'm comfortable with my weight, after all I'm happily married not trying to impress anyone. I'll admit that I'm secretly jealous of those trim racer types on account of wanting to be a faster rider, I'm just not built that way. When I diet, which i admit is rarely, I see fast results, bike riding alone: not so much.
    Didn't want to sound like a Debie downer, just sharing my observations.

  27. #27
    I married a witch.
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    I came to the realization that barring any scifi like medical advances, this is the only body I'll get.
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  28. #28
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    Me in my mid-20's (185lbs)

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    Me this past Sunday (215lbs)

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    Difference is I'm way more "fit" now than I was in my 20's

    Plus I'm not as orange now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying-Monkey View Post
    I came to the realization that barring any scifi like medical advances, this is the only body I'll get.
    Having that I transformed my body to an extreme level for bodybuilding, I also tend to believe this. To get down to that body fat, it took very extreme measures with a ridiculous diet and water control. I know I damaged my body for that, and quite possibly paying the price now.

    I feel "natural" between 200-215, and for next season, I hope to get down to 200lbs. In the past, @ 200lbs is when I see a six-pack, so I'm happy with that.

    But coming down to the race weight of 160 is pretty much impossible for somebody like me. Since I can't get down to that (185 was really pushing it), I just have to be the best 200lb'er I can be.

  29. #29
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    Mike here, 46 years old. Started riding bikes again 12 years ago so I was in that mid 30's bracket. Wanted to get into better shape after watching a family member who has diabetes suffer from not taking care of themself.

    It worked. Always had slightly high LDL, blood sugar. Cycling dropped some pounds off me and kept those results under control. HDL went up to from riding, too.

    Changing my diet helped even more but that's hard to stay with. I like to enjoy the yummy stuff.

    Now, in "mid-midlife crisis", I have two very involved jobs. One of them being a self owned, self run business. So, hypertension is now my enemy... you just can't win!
    life is... "All About Bikes"...

  30. #30
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    Help with getting out there...

    I've got to say, I love my LBS.

    I slacked, I skipped any sort of recordable activity for a few days, and might have continued, except while visiting the shop, the mechanic mentioned he was going to hit the local trail when he got out of work.

    I invited myself along, and he didn't even try skipping out of work early to avoid me...

    So, we rode that trail, and I was able to log another 6+ miles into my calendar.

    Then today, in the interest of helping me decide if a 29er was right for me, they let me take one of their rental bikes out, for almost an hour.

    Chalk up another 6+ miles for me today.



    So, that made me wonder, what kind of "support" are you guys getting to keep you from being sedentary?




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  31. #31
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    weight and riding

    I have (as Im sure most of you do) a lot of draws on my time, I have four kids, three of which play Lacrosse, (I coach bantam boys), I am the Senior NCO in my unit (hard to leave work early to fit a ride in), home maintenance, some notion of a social life with the wife, etc etc.

    two years ago when I got back from Afghanistan, I was 190 lbs, and I had a pretty wicked shrapnel injury that required a few surgeries to correct, I wasn't riding the road bike much at all at that time, mostly just the MTB, but my BP was regularly 170/110, Cholesterol was crazy, and my general health sucked.

    Right now today, I am right at 200, my BP averages 100/70 (no meds), my body fat is lower, Im doing a lot more different exercises to supplement the fact that I'm not riding enough right now, swimming every night, running a few days a week, lifting four days a week, and I eat like a spokesman for whats right, yet Ive put on over ten pounds. I am switching back to commuting on the cross bike, and every time I do this for a week or so, I start dropping weight like a demon. Within a month, I;ll be twenty pounds down.

    For me, its all the bike. Its my magic carpet to a healthy weight.
    Bicycles are the physical manifestation of freedom
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  32. #32
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    Support? None really. I just have to "go". Don't think about it. Just go. A non-riding friend will ask when I chat with her if I did ride today. When I read the question of what support you have, I just said F-it. Go. Just go. So I grabbed my helmet and my 29er and out the door I went. Just short of 7 miles. Which is better than zero. One more spot filled on my calendar. I do have a road ride tomorrow with a buddy so that will be nice. Time to get the skinny tire bike out.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by midschool22 View Post
    So I grabbed my helmet and my 29er and out the door I went. Just short of 7 miles. Which is better than zero. One more spot filled on my calendar. I do have a road ride tomorrow with a buddy so that will be nice. Time to get the skinny tire bike out.
    What you're saying, is that THIS thread was your support today... it got you into your helmet, and on the trail.

    Awesome!
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying-Monkey View Post
    What you're saying, is that THIS thread was your support today... it got you into your helmet, and on the trail.

    Awesome!
    Yep. Every little bit helps.

  35. #35
    the half breed devil
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwoodturner View Post
    of course YMMV. Every body is different, and where you are starting from makes a big difference. For me, at least, I see results from cutting calories. Bike riding alone has proven slow in the weight loss department. When I got back into riding a little over two years ago I bought a SS and I think I build muscle along with losing weight and a nearly equal ratio. I'm built like a line man and put on muscle ridiculously fast. (In my twenties I'd get stretch mark after a week of lifting weights). My senior year of high school I played football at 220 and the dropped to 190 for wrestling season. At 38 I'm comfortable with my weight, after all I'm happily married not trying to impress anyone. I'll admit that I'm secretly jealous of those trim racer types on account of wanting to be a faster rider, I'm just not built that way. When I diet, which i admit is rarely, I see fast results, bike riding alone: not so much.
    Didn't want to sound like a Debie downer, just sharing my observations.
    all i can type, man!

  36. #36
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    My doctor has asked me to stay out of the saddle until mid-May (for a BS reason, but whatever), so I'm back to hitting the gym. My wife is on my case, even with the beach cruiser (I try to hit the beach cruiser a few times a week in the morning with my dogs).

    On an emotional level - it's killing me. I'm back in the gym and I'm hitting it very hard, but it's nowhere NEAR the same workout as I get on my rides - Garmin says I burn anywhere from 1300-1800 calories per ride, but on my epic rides it's more like 4000-5000 calories. In the gym, I'm lucky to get 1200.

    Even though it's only a couple of weeks, my biggest fear is losing what I built up training for Sea Otter - and now that I've found XC racing to be something I like, I have my eyes set on next year in a big way.

    I didn't like cyclocross racing at all.

    When I do get back on the bike, I am definitely going to take it slow, which is also going to be difficult because I know I will want to push myself after not riding for 3 weeks.

    My gym workouts are "crossfit" oriented, but it is nowhere near the intensity of a cross-country training ride. I'm trying to remain positive and look at it as a mental and physical break from riding. I guess it's good because I do get burned out on riding once in while, plus I start looking like a fat anorexic when I ride too much and don't go lift.

    I'm curious to see how this will play into my overall goal for next year. If it works out well, maybe every month I will take a week off of riding for gym-only training to "reset" my body.

  37. #37
    Digging in the pain cave.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I didn't like cyclocross racing at all.
    What did you not like about it?

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by midschool22 View Post
    What did you not like about it?
    It was just hard to train for... it was my introduction into bike racing and I thought I was going to die - I have to say it is the hardest form of competition I've ever done.

    I mountain bike, so that's what I'm used to and CX was a whole different monster. But I also got burned out on it in a big way, especially going solo, every couple of weeks for an entire season. We have a mash-up MTB team and it makes the racing experience so much better.

    I'm glad I started with CX because it prepared me for MTB racing very well. I held on to top 10 for awhile, then stopped going to races and ended up 20 or something for the season.

    Maybe it was trying to do a whole season that wiped me out.

  39. #39
    I married a witch.
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    I slacked off some last week, but got a great ride in tonight. Made even better with a local rider who met up with me at the half (or for me 1/4) way point, and even went easy on me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pre Midlife Crisis, Return to Fitness, Support Group-end-month-riding..jpg  

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  40. #40
    Digging in the pain cave.
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    Today was 80 and sunny. Time for a ride. A ROAD ride.

  41. #41
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    Road? Yuck! I got a short ride in tonight with a group from the LBS. Had a blast. One of the guys ended up with a flat, and I was able to help out with my patches and my pump. I think he hated my pump, it was not one of the faster CO2 ones...

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  42. #42
    B.Ike
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    ^^how did you like his pump?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwoodturner View Post
    ^^how did you like his pump?
    HA!

    He didn't have a pump, but his stroke left a lot to be desired...

    No, really, I am surprised he got any air in that tire, too much reliance on compressed air, not enough time with the more manual methods.
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  44. #44
    I dd what you see there.
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    When I was off on comp for 2 years I ballooned up to 280+.

    I slowly shed weight since then. The single biggest weight loss came from cutting soda a couple years ago from a daily drink to one glass every 2 or 3 weeks maybe. I prefer plain old water and beer which is the downfall this time of year, because during the summer I go to my trailer practically every moment I'm not working, and at my trailer there's three things to do. Ride the rail trail that runs through the front of the park (not certain of Amarken conversion but approx. 40 m or 65 kms round trip), fishing in the river and BBQing and drinking beer. Problem is, last year, it was fishing all day, then BBQing and drinking at night. This year, with the Trek cross bike I hope to get out on the rail trail a lot more because it's not a heavy full squish bike that saps all your energy like my C'dale. I've been floating around 220 all spring, so I figure it's a good place to start too. If this thread is still alive, I'll keep posted about progress (or regress).
    2002 Cannondale Jekyll 800
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  45. #45
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    I wasn't "really" paying attention to the number weight I was before I started riding. But knowing about what weight I was, I know I've lost about ten pounds in just over a month with some fun riding, and a little more care as to what I eat.

    I haven't gone on any diet, specifically. I've just cut back on breads, stopped eating so much ice cream, I've always steered away from soda, and the hardest of all, I gave up my cocoa pebbles cereal.
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  46. #46
    I married a witch.
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    How is everyone still doing with their riding?

    Is there anyone still out there?

    I put in a little over ten miles tonight. Had a blast exploring new places...

    http://forums.mtbr.com/passion/mud-s...ml#post9300417
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  47. #47
    the half breed devil
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying-Monkey View Post
    How is everyone still doing with their riding?

    Is there anyone still out there?

    I put in a little over ten miles tonight. Had a blast exploring new places...

    http://forums.mtbr.com/passion/mud-s...ml#post9300417
    still going three days a week, thirty miles a pop...

  48. #48
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    Awesome! Is that 30 miles of trail?
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  49. #49
    the half breed devil
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying-Monkey View Post
    Awesome! Is that 30 miles of trail?
    usually about half to three quarters. it's all riding. no car involved.

  50. #50
    Suckin wind like a boss
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    havent been able to ride trails here since monday because of the weather, so i hit the cartpath yesterday and did 24 miles on an out-and-back trip. very flat (<200 ft. elevation change), follows the cuyahoga river, but i just needed to ride...i averaged 12.2mph and had a headwind about 90% of the time lol.

    for not having ridden a bike in 30+ years, and only being back in the saddle for 3 weeks now, im stoked. my biggest surprise is that my lungs last longer than my legs- i just quit a 30 year smoking habit in january, and figured that would be my achilles heel. nope, its my flabby musculature from sitting behind a computer playing video games since my divorce 6 years ago.

    yesterdays ride was my longest ever. my previous best was about 10.5 miles on the same stretch, a week and a half ago. on that ride, i took several breaks. yesterday, i stopped at the turnaround point long enough to have an energy drink, then turned around and went back.

    the nagging question in my mind always seems to be...why in the hell did i wait so long to get into this sport?

  51. #51
    Damn that hurt
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    52 here. Just got back into it after 11 or 12 years. Had a heart attack (April 11th) 2 weeks after ordering my new bike. cardiologist just cleared me two days ago for full duty at work but wants me to keep my heart rate no higher than 120 when exercising. How the **** am I gonna do that and have any fun ?
    It was fun while it lasted.

  52. #52
    No known cure
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    I'll be 42 at the end of June. Since I was four, I've always owned at least one bike and still ride 1-2 times a day so I've never had to return to the sport with no fitness base, but I have had downtime from injuries. I've found that a singlespeed will whip you into shape pretty quick.

    I've decided to try yoga for flexibility, and last week I bought a kettlebell but have only looked at it so far. I don't really like lifting weights, but I do pushups, crunches, pullups ect religeously.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  53. #53
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    Diggin' this one up again. I finally got around to making a quick video of my fat ass skipping rope. Somewhere somebody asked me to post my workout, so here is my "gym". A couple kettlebells, a barbell, and, of course, a rope. I plan to add battleropes in the mix very soon.

    It's 96ļ out there right now (heat wave), so I'm staying indoors until it cools down to ride. Anyway, I believe I get a better workout with a $10 rope and $100 worth of equipment than a stupid gym membership when I'm off the bike.

    Any questions about skipping rope, let me know! It's really my favorite off-the-bike workout. I can get a little fancier, but I have limited vertical room in my garage. I tried to do a 360ļ, walk forwards, walk backs, etc. and ended up hitting stuff. Not bad for a 225lb'er, if I do say so myself!

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/50696978" width="500" height="280" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/50696978">My Rope Skipping Session</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user6987785">Dion Rides Bikes</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
    Last edited by Dion; 10-03-2012 at 02:19 PM.

  54. #54
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    I'm 27 and my whole life has been a battle to balance fitness and intake. I was much more active when I was young. I couldn't keep up with the other kids, but still had fun. And my weight never took off, it just followed normal growth rates... except I was always a bit bigger than everyone else. I slowly stopped all my physical activity, mostly because I was either too big (for things like horseback riding), I just couldn't keep up with the other kids (which was every single other physical activity), the frustration from adults who expected me to keep up (and thus, demotivation when I couldn't and just got yelled at and punished), and puberty to make me a ***** who couldn't deal with it any more. I fell into a hole for a good 10 years of my life, almost didn't make it out. I could barely make it up a flight of stairs when I was 16, let alone walk around school for class. I have been climbing out of this mess for 5 years now, and there has been a lot of **** to claw through. I got myself back to a weight I can exercise again, but there is still no chance I can keep up with the other kids.

    I tried working out with friends before, which always ended in frustration on both our parts because of different ideas of what a 'fun' workout is and how far I was able to push compared to them. So, this time, I am doing it alone. Let's see how that works

    Mountain biking seemed to make sense when my parents were moving and offered their 15 y/o bikes that had been sitting in pristine condition in the rafters. They were too big, but I took them anyways and got them tuned up. I am able to ride the female bike o.k. since it has the goofy slope geometry in the frame. It still is an odd balance and stretch for me, but I am making it work. I am going to start commuting to work as soon as my supervisor is able to get me a locker for my stuff. I frankly need a car just to get all my **** there! In the mean time, I have been biking as much as I can. Seen some small improvements in strength and cardio, weight hasn't moved an inch. I have been eating better too, though not perfect. I will get back on a mostly vegetarian/ vegan diet soon, which was my secret to shedding 100lbs in less than 2 years without increasing my physical activity. I hope that once I become a gearhead and get my diet back on track, this last 100 will melt off just as easily

    Mostly, mountain biking is giving me crazy confidence. Almost every day there is at least one small thing I can find I wasn't able to do the previous day or week. Sometimes it is making it all the way up a bunny hill without needing to hoof it, sometimes it is having the confidence to take a section with more speed and less brake, sometimes it is just practicing proper form, getting my butt out of the seat and absorbing the rocks and curbs with my legs, and many days it is just pushing a little bit further than the previous day before I need to hop off and hoof it for a minute to catch my breath. My path isn't impressive, but I have added more distance and difficulty every week since i started. I started at just short of 3 miles my first couple days, pushed that to 5 for a solid week, and this past week I had enough time off work to push it to 6 1/2 or 7, that last 1.5-2 miles all on hiking trails. Half of all the distances are all uphill, and climbing is my biggest weakness. I could ride flat for hours, but am tapping out and hopping off after 20 minutes of climbing a moderate hill. However, I am really loving the off trails, favorite part of my ride I am also scared shitless, biting my nails with anxiety as I scour discount sites for pads I can't afford so I don't REALLY screw myself by getting injured... but MAN am I having FUN!

    Ultimately, I *really* want to get into trail running. I have always had unusually good balance for someone my size, but nothing beats the feeling of your own feet pounding the trail. You can get much more technical and get into crazy places a bike can't... plus, it is less expensive and I don't have to be babysitting my gear or hauling it off a trail if it breaks. But I am far, far away from being able to run on pavement, let alone trails. Jog, sure, for a moment. But I want to run, for the first time in my life. Kind of weird for most people to think about it like that, considering I have two healthy legs. But I have been overweight since I could walk, so the most I have ever been able to do is very short bursts or short jogs. If I could, I would trail run and hike all over the world. I want to see everything nature has given us, and see everything our ancestors have given us that we have long since forgotten (I LOVE ruins!). *wanders off to happy place*

    Ahem. Well. One step at a time. The two goals to get to the place I want to be are to get in shape and get a job that isn't a dead end. I have some ideas for the job part of the equation too, though I am finding it much more difficult to get anywhere with it. I have also not had nearly the success with finding a decent job as I have had with losing weight. I am WAY behind where I should be in that regard considering my education and age :/ It's much easier to get on the bike and accomplish a little goal when my life keeps stalling or sliding me backwards. The instant feedback and feeling of accomplishment from a good ride is also much better than the shitty feedback I give myself, trying to convince myself that a hairbrained idea of mine is a good one and worth committing to paper, canvas, or a project.

    Well, anyways, I have wasted enough server space with the boring details of my pathetic little life Good luck to everyone! Keep it up!

  55. #55
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    Hey Bikemaya,it seems that you are busting your tail to get in shape and build a better life for yourself. It also seems you are having fun while doing it. To me that's not pathetic,it is something to be proud of! Keep working at it and you will reach your goals. It doesn't happen overnight and sometimes it won't be easy but I am sure you can do it.!

  56. #56
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    Alright.

    Last night was my first go with BattleRopes. I ordered one 40' X 1.5" thick manila rope for my growing garage gym which consists of kettlebells, a barbell, a couple dumbells, a medicine ball, a heavy bag, skipping rope, a couple of cinderblocks (for incline pushups) and now a battle rope.

    I did 6 sets of 30 second super intense intervals with 1 min. of rest in between.

    I completely underestimated this exercise. It gassed me pretty quickly, and about 20 seconds into it, you're making a face and it's getting pretty heavy. This exercise will be great for those extremely long and grueling technical trails that requires a ton of upper-body strength and deep core. Also, accompanied with rope skipping - great for fast twitch muscles.

    You should be able to find 1.5" manila rope at your local big hardware store. I ordered mine online, and it will run you around $80 for a 40' long rope. I kept mine held back by threading it through my kettlebells, but I think I will research a better way of securing them.

  57. #57
    rho
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    This battle rope thing is amusing and what I want to know is when Dion is going to have a stongman car pulling thing with that rope.

    Although after looking up the use of the rope for that battle rope exercise... Holy crap. intense.

    Sent by smoke signal.

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