C. Derick Miller – Head Writer
Your Stories on Video
I’ve never really bothered to search out the origins of Labor Day and I don’t feel like learning right this second. Sure, I could reach out to my trusty Google device and ask, but it doesn’t matter. I get a day off from the office. That’s good enough for me!
My only plan for this weekend was to beat my all-time cycling record. Up until now, the most I’ve ever ridden in a single day is twenty-five miles and I’m determined to make it to thirty! I set off early Saturday morning to do exactly that. Was I successful?
Absolutely not, and it wasn’t from a lack of trying. Right about my twenty-mile mark, I noticed it was getting harder and harder to pedal my big butt down the old Southern Pacific trail just outside of Dallas. Then, I looked and realized I had a flat. My bike adventure for the weekend was officially over. I was disappointed in my failure, my wife wasn’t quite awake yet for a rescue, and I had no idea where I was! Happy Saturday.
I eventually got the family to pick me up, took the bike by the repair shop, grabbed some food, and took a well-deserved nap. It just wouldn’t go away, though. I thought about it nonstop all afternoon. I failed myself in reaching my goal. It wasn’t my fault, but I still failed. I fought internally to keep myself from going outside and mounting up to get my additional ten miles in. Still, in my head, that didn’t count. I didn’t do it all at once, so it wasn’t really the thirty miles I was looking for. I stayed irritated for the rest of the day.
Deep down, I knew what I was going to do to solve my conundrum.
I awoke with the sun on Sunday morning and hit that same trial again. I rode harder and faster than I did the day before until I had no energy left to give. I was only at the twenty-five-mile mark and circling the drain when it came to stamina and drive, but I’ll be damned if I was going to go home without hitting my goal. I did what any other modern, red-blooded American would do at a time like this.
No, I didn’t take steroids. Well, not really. I pulled out my handy, dandy cell phone and found that there was a Smoothie King a quarter of a mile from my location. I fueled up on a frigid Strawberry Peanut Power Plus and took off toward my goal yet again. You can’t keep a good man with a pocket-sized search engine down!
When I pulled into my driveway, spent, and covered in sweat, and checked my watch, I had ridden thirty-three miles exactly. Not only did I meet the goal I had set for myself before the holiday weekend began, but I exceeded it by three additional miles! I celebrated in the only way my screeching body allowed by drifting off to sleep again at lunchtime. I was spent. Still, I did it.
Now, for the best question of all. Why did I do it? That’s an easy answer. To prove to myself that I could. Not anyone else, just me. Next question. Will I try to beat it? Answer: Never in a million years. It’s really pointless to push your body that hard for three straight hours and all the fun is taken out of it by the time you hit mile ten. Sure, I’m in it to win it, but I like to have fun as well. Three nonstop hours of cycling in the Texas heat is not my idea of fun. That’s what a three-day weekend is all about, isn’t it? Taking some time off from the weekday nine to five and letting it all hang out. I mean, having a good time. Not my tongue.
Final question: will I spend the last day of my three-day weekend pointlessly cycling around the big city of Dallas? Absolutely not. Instead, I’m going to Oklahoma where I can kayak a rushing river with my family. Nope, no working out on my last day off. Not at all.
Pushing myself to the limits of my physical abilities has recently become an obsession. I’m a 47-year-old man who refuses to look like one. I want to get in good shape and stay there for the duration of my life. It’s less of an obsession and more of an addiction. When I’m not doing it, it’s all I can think about. What’s so bad about that? I don’t drink much. I don’t smoke. I don’t do illegal drugs. Don’t we all have to be addicted to something in this crazy world?
I can think of much worse things to be addicted to than working out!
What is that one thing or activity you absolutely can’t live without? Here at Your Stories on Video, we want to know! Now, you don’t have to tell on yourself if it’s something you wouldn’t want anyone to know, but I’m talking about things in the public eye. Are you a gym fanatic, or a rollercoaster fiend? Do you go to the movies more than once a week or do your hands not feel quite right unless there is a guitar in them? Is this something you’ve always hidden from your friends and family or is it a defining activity you’re known for?
If you’re anything like me, there are too many of these activities to count…and that’s not a bad thing.
Besides, I’m determined to have my hometown’s most interesting headstone. Well, in about forty more years anyway…