Yesterday's upbeat mood helped me breeze through the day, even though it was busy and chaotic from start, almost until finish. I always feel like my mornings are super rushed, getting myself, my two sons and my dog dealt with before rushing off to work, but I am realizing that my nights are typically just as full. After I get home, I usually am trying to help my kids with homework while trying to figure out what to eat and what to feed them, and hoping that the dog can wait to go out until homework is done, making my dinner and either making something for the boys or helping them find something to eat, then I take the dog out, which can easily be a half hour process or more. Usually by that time its near 7:30. Then it's the perpetual dishes chore or fixing an issue that needs to be fixed, or...or... it just seems like there's a lot that comes up on the daily. I don't consider myself different from anyone else in that aspect, I have been using our busy schedule to let myself off the hook from doing things that are good for me, like using the stationary bike, stretching, reading or pampering myself with a hot bath. All of those things make me feel good, but I don't do them that often. Well, during the deep autumn and winter months I usually have to take baths every night just to get blood in my toes. I know it's not good for my skin to take both baths and showers, and sometimes both each day, but when my toes are white and cold I just want relief! Man, I hate Wisconsin winters!
Anyway, last night, when I finished my tasks by 7'ish I knew there'd be time for a bath, but I knew I'd also have time to get a little biking in. Now, I'm not going to say it was seemless, there were no less than 4 times I had to stop and get off the bike for interruptions, and I almost gave up because I just felt like the stars were not aligned and my son needed me more than usual. But just when I was about to give up, we got his issue all taken care of and I hopped back on the bike and thought, if it doesn't happen, at least I am making a decent effort. My legs were burning early on, at only 2-3 minutes in, but I knew that eventually my endorphins would kick in and I'd feel better. I wanted to go longer than 5 minutes but didn't have a goal. The longest I've gone is 4 miles, it took me 19 minutes to complete. This time I challenged myself to go for 5 miles, to see if I could do it. Not only did I do it, but I did it in just over 19 minutes! I was averaging a speed of 16MPH. I felt really proud of myself when I was done, and celebrated with a nice, hot bath. Afterword, I slathered my skin with my favorite body lotion:
I was not as sore as I expected to be this morning, which is great news, but I was a little stiff. I will need to sneak in more stretching somewhere. My muscles feel magically stronger from one bike session. I'm sure it's all in my head, but I know if I keep at it my legs will get stronger. The best part about the bike is that, so far as I can tell, it doesn't bother my knee so it is really sustainable, I just have to make it a priority. I like feeling like my legs can take me wherever I need to go, instead of feeling uncertain of what I can handle anymore. I'm young enough that I can make some positive changes in my strength, agility and stamina. I already feel lighter and younger and slightly more graceful moving around. What an awesome reward for taking a little extra care of myself! I'm sure there will be many more to come.
Friday's almost here! Have a great Thursday!