Gaining my Stripes

I’m 46, overweight and the most unfit person I know.

But potentially I’m undergoing a mid life crisis. Over Christmas 2013, I suddenly came to the realisation that I didn’t want to be fat and 50 so I vowed to take control. I joined Slimming World, and things started to change.

I’m now 33lbs into my weight loss journey. There’s still a very long way to go, but I’ve now lost enough that it feels like time to do some exercise.

I’ve entered the Great Notts Bike Ride. I have to cycle 25 miles on 22 June. That’s less than 5 weeks away.

Problem is, I hadn’t been on a bike for 25 years. And I didn’t own one. Until Sunday. I’m now the very proud owner of my first hybrid bike, entry level of course, an Apollo Elyse, yet to be named but definitely female.

Sunday’s ride in the rain at Rushcliffe Country Park was hell. It was hard enough to get upright and moving, let alone the awful tightness in my wind pipe. I have no idea how long or how far I went but it felt like hours and miles. More likely 5 minutes and 500 yards. And my poor bum!

Tonight, however, I’m much better equipped with a phone app that mapped my ride and gave me more stats than you can shake a stick at. I headed to Attenborough Nature Reserve and it was lovely. Warm, quiet, a glorious evening. OK, I only traveled 1.81 miles, and it took me 18 minutes but the longest journeys start with a small step.

I also got blooded in, trying to work out which gear to use for going uphill. Seems when you go really slowly you fall off. I’ve now got grazes on my knee and back, along with a lovely collection of bruises on my arm to show as war wounds.

I’m still too scared to cycle on the roads, and my stamina, strength and aerobic capacity need a lot of work. However, I think I can now proudly say that I’m a cyclist.

Weight loss – 33 lbs
Longest ride – 1.81 miles
Longest duration – 18 minutes

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