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Clipping In (to the bike pedals) - A Little History

Years ago I spoke to a 40 year old woman who was a “hero” of the bike world winning all kinds of amateur hill

climbs. Wow! Turns out she was an All American runner in college. I do not have that pedigree. I had the wrong parents.

But I try.

As a young father I decided I would bike to the lake where the wife and kids were going. Made it! Big hill, too. A few decades later I had been cycling most of the summer and thought I was “in shape.” I had developed a “Dad” bod by then. The idea that the ageing process of a few decades might have an effect – well, that idea never crossed my mind.

I attempted that same hill and collapsed a third of the way up. Gulf Road in Northfield.

Well, summon up willpower! Machismo! Testosterone! Manliness! I tried three more times that summer. Never made it as far as that first effort.

Over the next time period I decided to ramp up the cycling so that it was not a “while on vacation” thing. My doctor impressed upon me that my cholesterol was high. I had no clue what was considered high. I had not been to the doctor in maybe 20 years. So it was either take a statin or change the way I eat. He was big into plant-based eating and spent 45 minutes trying to convince me (and my wife and our two kids when they saw him). I did not want to do the meds route.

So my cholesterol dropped, my weight dropped. I had been obese according the BMI index. When BMI registered me as obese – I spent 30 minutes researching all the ways the BMI was askew. Sometimes it is hard to face reality.

Eventually I made it up Gulf road, although I had to zig zag to make the grade less steep. To this day I am grateful to the driver who did not hit me. Zig zagging on a relatively busy road is not advisable. Sometimes determination can get you in trouble. And sometimes determination is the God’s source of blessing.

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