Do or Die

There’s something about nice round numbers or dates that appeals to me.  So today, June 1st, 2015, is a new start.

As mentioned yesterday, I’m not drinking beer during the month of June.  I’m not a fan of liquor and I rarely drink wine, so those aren’t an issue.

I weighed myself this morning.  I’m 274.6 lbs.  That’s pretty unacceptable to me, but not as bad as I feared.  I will continue weighing, but I’m not sure about posting here, as I always fell behind that in the past.

The first time I lost weight and wrote about it here, my life was simpler.  I was single.  I had nothing going on besides a job.

Now, I’m married.  We have a new dog (who’s destructive and high-maintenance).  Although I’m working now, I’m actively seeking a new job as the current one ends next week.

I’m playing volleyball again this year, at least in the summer, outdoor in the sand.  I don’t enjoy indoor as much.  I played today and had a good time, even without drinking any beer.

My eating habits have deteriorated in the last couple of years.  I need to fix that.  I’ve started that today, just by eating less.  I’m not tracking calories at this point, but I probably need to do that.  It certainly worked for me last time.

I’m rolling around some ideas about how to limit my beer consumption once this month is over.  I don’t have anything decided on yet, but it needs to take bike miles into consideration, so I can earn beer by riding more.  As much as I was drinking the last few months, I’d be riding to Indianapolis and back every few days.

Back to Volleyball

Volleyball took me out in January.  I popped my Achilles and that changed my life for a while.

On Monday, July 21st, I got back to playing volleyball.  I was a bit worried about my right ankle.  Strangely, during the first two weeks of play, my right leg was hurting.  Eventually that went away.

I recently finished up the session.  I’m not playing indoor anymore, partially because the harder floor is hard on me, and partially because it’s farther away than I want to travel.  I’ll play again in the Spring when they come back outdoor.

Still on a Bike

Yes, I’m still riding a bike.  I just having been writing much about it.

Camping!

Back on June 20th, Tim and I went bike camping.  I rode my Big Dummy.

Big and dumb

We didn’t want to deal with a campfire, so I brought a candle for light.  An unfortunate spider managed to get into the molten wax.

We each brought our Esbit stoves for cooking dinner, and making coffee in the morning.  There’s little else as important as camp coffee.

World’s smallest campfire

This was just a quick trip to Jefferson Forest, but it improved that weekend.

Family Riding

The next weekend was my wife’s birthday.  She had her daughter over.  We got out on the bike (my stepdaughter and I on the tandem, and Diane on her own bike).

Among other places, we rode the Beargrass Creek Trail.  There’s a heron usually visible, but he’s shy and hard to photograph.  This time he was feeling brave, and I managed to get a picture of him.  I think Tim knows him well.

Heron!

This was a slow, meandering ride.  It was quite enjoyable.  We stopped for ice cream on the way home.

Volleyball

I’m still not playing volleyball, but I will be in about a week and a half.  Two years ago, I was the only one who rode a bike there.  Last year there was usually one other bike.  Last month brought a large collection of bikes, including my ex-girlfriend riding the bike I bought her.  Sweet!

Diane and I rode the tandem

The motorcycle belonged to our group too.

Look carefully, there are four more bikes

Robin’s bike had a low tire.  I pumped it up.

Robin’s bike looks neat with a basket

Fourth of July

Bicycling For Louisville put on the Family Freedom Fun Ride on the morning of the Fourth.  It was partially intended to celebrate/show off the new bike lanes on Breckenridge and Kentucky streets.

Turnout was good, probably 100+ people.  The mayor was there.  The news crews were there.  There were four highwheel bicycles there, which is more than I’ve ever seen in one place.

A few of the crew

We didn’t take many pictures.  This one was at the end, before everyone returned.  Diane is off to the left in hi-vis yellow.  There’s a highwheeler hiding behind the tree.

Tim rode with us most of the way.  We ran into a number of people we knew, including Ben and Marcus.  After the ride, Ben, Tim, Diane and I went to Cumberland for beer and to watch the soccer game.

Ben invited us to a party at his house.  We went home, and packed up the tandem with beer.  Ben is much younger than we are.  He lives in an apartment with a roommate.  There’s a nice back yard.  He had quite a few people show up, most on bikes.  You know it’s a party when the police show up.

Yes, one person was arrested.  Almost nobody there knew her.  She was arrested for DUI.  She had driven there (drunk) and ran into a parked car in front of it’s owner.  Sigh.  The police are never in a good mood when responding to incidents like this on the Fourth.

Louisville’s main fireworks show, at the Riverfront, was cancelled this year.  Diane and I went home early and watched a few neighborhood fireworks from our front porch.

More?

Yes.  More.  I’ll have more posts today.  Things are a-changing.

Transition

Life is strange.  I’m in a weird place.

Diane and I had a wonderful wedding, and the marriage has been good so far.  Yes, we’ve had an argument, but nothing we won’t get over.  Mostly, things are quite good.  I really have planned on a big post about the wedding, but I think that’s dead now – over a month later.  We wedding was great.  The weather was perfect.  The reception at BBC Taproom was a blast.  I’ll write about the honeymoon – including tandem bike, later.

Wait. I’m married now?

My temporary job has been extended until the end of the year.  I don’t enjoy the job, but being employed is nice.  Work has kept me busy, too busy at times.  I feel like many other things are falling behind.

My doctor has not sent me to physical therapy for my leg/ankle/achilles.  I had my final appointment with my orthopedic surgeon, and he believes all is well.  It could take a year to feel normal again, but I have no more activity restrictions.

I still get swelling and soreness sometimes.  Walking causes more issues than riding the bike.  I still intend to start playing volleyball for the next session.  In the meantime, I need to stretch and work on strength.

I’ve gained weight.  I haven’t been weighing regularly, but I’m about 260lbs right now.  I still drink too much beer.  I’ve left the weight issue on the back burner for now.  I know I shouldn’t, but I feel like I have to finish the transition to married life and fixing financial issues.

Diane and I are trying to fix some financial issues.  We want to own a home someday.  Our spending on beer is down – most due to buying it from a store rather than a bar.

I’m on the bike pretty much every day now.  Diane and I ride the tandem several times a week.  We bike-pooled to work three days this week on the tandem – and plan to do so in the morning again.  We work within a few blocks of each other, so it works.

I seldom ride at a fast pace.  Serious distance would hurt.  This is killing has killed my fitness.

My depression issues have resurfaced again, but in a different way.  I’m able to monitor how I feel.  Maybe I’m just learning a new coping mechanism.  It still sucks, but it doesn’t paralyze me.  I can analyze it.  I can usually avoid hurting others.

I hope to not go another month without posting.  This blog was built on accountability on my weight control.  It’s been failing at that recently.

Uh Oh

Today was the first day of the new session of volleyball.  I had a new team with a player new to the league.

We were struggling to keep up during the first game (of three).  We still had a chance, and we played well.  They were playing better.

About halfway through the first game, during a play, I thought one of my teammates had kicked me in the back of the ankle.  I went down.  Anger turned to confusion as I realized there was nobody behind me.

I sat for a minute, in the middle of the court, trying to asses the damage.  It still just felt like I got kicked in the ankle.  I decided to stand, and realized I couldn’t.  I hobbled off-court and sat in a nearby folding chair.

Then the pain came.  It was bad enough I felt cold, clammy, and a bit woozy.  Two guys helped me to the bleachers.  Someone else brought a bag of ice.

As the ice numbed the pain, I felt better and watched my team get beat all three games.  They tried hard.  They played decently.  The other team played better.

One of my teammates is a doctor.  After the games, she checked my ankle and she’s afraid I may have torn my Achilles Tendon.  Is it a small tear?  Is it completely ruptured?  Is it just strained?  I don’t know.  I’ll be making an appointment with a sports medicine doctor ASAP.

I was loaned some (antique?) crutches.  I can’t really walk without them.  There isn’t much pain now, but things don’t feel right.  I have little strength in that leg.

This sucks.  Unless it’s just a strain, I’m out of volleyball for the session.  I’m off the bike.  I can’t even drive, as it’s my right foot and I can’t press on the pedals.  Luckily, I can work – as long as I can get there.

I won’t be working tomorrow, as I intend to be at a doctor.  I’ll post another update once I know how much damage was done.

Car-Free Volleyball

Diane and I had discussed riding the tandem to the indoor volleyball location even before her car was stolen.  Now it was our only option.

Luckily Diane is fearless in traffic – as long as I’m driving.  So, as the captain of the tandem, we did fine.  I had my Dinotte 140L and PDW Radbot 1000 taillights mounted.  Anyone who can’t see me from behind is legally blind.  I also had the Dinotte XML-3 headlight.

Both of us took a change of clothes.  The cooler temperatures are making this necessary.

We won all three of our volleyball games – because I was lucky enough to get a good team.

The trip home was mostly the same as the way out only darker and cooler.  I took a different route once closer to home, enjoying a 32mph downhill.

The ride was more than 23 miles round-trip.  With my commute to work today, I rode 30 miles for the day.  I’ll take it.

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Whatta Week!

Okay, it’s only Thursday, but this has been a busy week already.

On Monday, my daughter, Dawn, married Guthrie.  I present Mr. and Mrs. Smith:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

It was a simple wedding.  There was a dinner afterward.

Later in the evening I went to play volleyball.  I’ve been using a dating site to try and meet women with mixed results.  While at volleyball, a woman approached me and we talked.  We had a date on Tuesday.  Her name is Diane.

I had a date with Renee that I thought went well last week.  She told me that she didn’t think we should have a second date a couple of days ago.

Yesterday was a housecleaning day.  I’ve been trying to keep my life more in order.  The anti-depressant seems to be working.  My moods have been more level.  I’ve been drinking less.  I’m not “stress eating”.  I have more motivation to do simple things – but not enough to do great things.  Hmmm.

I had a date scheduled with Melissa today, but she never called or showed up.  So I sat and ate pizza and had a beer by myself.  I wasn’t really bothered much by it.

I have a second date with Diane tomorrow.  It’s odd that the only second date I’m getting out of this is from a woman that I didn’t meet online.  We have a few friends and acquaintances in common – mostly through the Louisville Ski Club, of which I’m a member.

I’ve ridden the bike to work every day this week.  I’ve ridden the bike everywhere.  I haven’t missed work.  I’ve done some cooking at home.  I’ve been keeping the house clean.  I have a second date tomorrow.  This is progress.

Acceptance

I’ve been frustrated with life recently.  I’m unhappy with my weight.  I’m unhappy with being alone.

It’s time to accept things.  I need to not worry about being single.  I’ve done it before.  I can do it again.

I need to acknowledge my eating issues and work on them.  I need to cook at home, give up the beer for a while, and do some exercises in the evening instead of sit at the bar drinking.

One thing will help me to achieve the “stay at home and cook” goal – I’m going to be broke for a few weeks.  Poor planning and unexpected expenses teamed up to take my beer away.  Maybe this is a good thing.

I have been riding.  I’ve even been back on the rSogn.  I still need to replace the handlebars with Albatross bars, but that’ll have to wait for finances.

Tim got a new bike.  He calls it SeaFoam.  We managed to get out for a ride both Saturday (foggy) and Sunday (Easter).  I have a few pictures from Saturday.

SeaFoam and rSogn

If you can’t tell, SeaFoam is a Rivendell Atlantis.  Tim always has the nicer bike.

Foggy

A trip through Joe Creason Park in the fog completely hid the fact we were in an urban area.

I didn’t ride the bike to work on Monday or Tuesday.  I took a cab (waste of money) to work.  I took the bus home.  Both days involved walking, and drinking at a bar (more money wasted).

Tuesday, I had a few beers after work, when Tim contacted me about an evening ride.  I ran home and got ready.  We met and rode 15 or so miles after dark.  Again, I was on the rSogn, and he was on SeaFoam.  Both of us with dyno-powered headlights.

As he headed for home, I stopped again for another beer.

Bike and beer – a match made in heaven

See?  This one was totally the bike’s fault!

It’ll be at least two weeks without beer now.  I’ll then limit my drinking to one day a week.

In addition to spending more time at home with my dogs, I’m starting back with sand-court volleyball next Monday.  This will hopefully give me enough social interaction (and some exercise!)

Life is an interesting journey.  It’ll be fun to see where I end up by the end of the year.

 

Change in Plans and Volleyball

I mentioned before that I signed up for volleyball.  I’ve played the last two Mondays.  It’s fun, tiring, and leaves me covered in sand.  I ride my bike there after work.  Sometimes I come directly from work, other times I have time to ride home first.  Robin and I usually go across the street for dinner after the games.

I’m not good at volleyball.  Luckily the league I’m playing with isn’t great either, but I’ve got plenty of room for improvement before I can give any of them grief.  🙂  After only two days (six games), I feel I’ve learned a few things.  The hardest part is coordination.

Yesterday I decided at the last minute to ride the new bike to work.  It doesn’t have a rear rack, so I had to hang my laptop bag over my shoulder.  It wasn’t very comfortable, but it worked.  I’ve said I’m not going to put a rack or fenders on the bike.  I’ve changed my mind.

The new bike will get a rear rack for panniers – whether for commuting or camping.  It’ll also get one of the small front racks, like I put on Robin’s bike.  I won’t be adding fenders, as I want room for bigger tires.  Tim has offered to let me try out some monster 47mm tires.  I’ll try them out for fit soon.

Robin took me to work today.  I seem to have pulled a muscle during volleyball last night.

I’ve put a whole 14 miles on the new bike so far.  I won’t ride it tomorrow, because I don’t like carrying the laptop on my shoulder.  I’m probably going to ride the Big Dummy.

Now I need to get the money together for the racks, tires, seatpost, clamp, etc…