another day, another ride

This morning, I slept in. If you count 7:00 am sleeping in.

You see, the last two mornings I’ve been up at about 5:30 or 6:00 am, and I’ve gone out on my morning bike ride. A ritual that I used to do daily a number of years ago in 2003 and 2004. I did it once in 2005 and haven’t since.

My route takes me around the seawall – although not the entire seawall. Due to the windstorms, many sections of the seawall are closed (such as the sections below the Lions Gate Bridge, or Prospect Point or out near Siwash Rock). So you have to motor up the steep paths from the seawall to the roadways that take you up to Prospect Point. It’s a good climb, one that I’m not used to. I’m certainly getting my exercise going up that climb. I’m not in the best of shape, but day by day, I feel myself being able to go a bit longer. The ride continues until I can rejoin the seawall at Ferguson Point. After the hard climb to get to Prospect Point, it’s a nice relief to feel the wind at your face, cooling you down as you rush down the roadway towards Ferguson Point.

Rejoining the seawall, I continue along through English Bay, underneath the three city bridges – Burrard, Granville and Cambie – as I ride alongside False Creek. Right now, I have to cut onto Pacific Blvd, and I’ll either continue past Science World before eventually coming back along Main Street to cut through either Crab Park or Gastown home.

The ride is long. The ride is good. The ride is tiring. The ride is exhilarating. The views along the way are fantastic. The people you run into along the way are also exhilarated. It’s early but they want to be out there. They enjoy biking, jogging or roller-skating. There aren’t many people out at 5am or 6am, or even 7am, but the ones that are out there are usually in a very friendly mood. Many say hi, or good morning. It’s a positive energy that flows through people who get out for some exercise on a sunny Vancouver morning.

On Saturday, I did the long route again. Yesterday, I cut my ride short. After hitting English Bay, I wound up at the Safeway on Davie Street where I bought some geraniums for my Mum as it was Mother’s Day, along with some milk I needed to make Waffles. Today was also cut short because I had slept in. Had I been out the door around 6am, I could have done the long route, but today, as I was out on my bike around 7:30am, once I reached Second Beach I cut along past Lost Lagoon towards home.

I’ve taken pictures as I motor along, which probably makes my ride over the last few days take a bit longer than it should. But I find myself having to rest a bit anyway, because I’m so out of shape – so why not rest and snap a few pictures? I’ve posted a lot of them online on my flickr account.

The one thing I can’t get over is the devastation the park received due to last fall’s windstorms. It is very evident… there is still a lot of cleanup to be done.

So, I almost didn’t go out today. I remember lying in bed just wanting to stay there. I thought, I could just go into work without doing it today. I can go out tomorrow. But finally, at just before 7am, I knew I had to do it. If I didn’t go out, I risked allowing myself to put it off again tomorrow. And the next day. And I’m not going to get physically healthy by sitting on my ass!

But in addition to yesterday’s shorter ride, I spent half an hour in our building’s gym working out around 1pm. I spent about ten minutes on a stair climber machine and another ten to twelve minutes on the treadmill. In between that, I did some stretching and worked with some weights. I really need to work on my endurance. I get tired easily, when I try to do long steady stretches of running or biking. But considering I’ve done nothing in terms of exercise over the last two years, I think I’m doing ok.

I definitely feel a bit more alive. A bit more assure of myself. Even though I 40 pounds above my ideal weight, I know I can lose that weight. Last night was a bit of a shock to my system. I tried to put on a pair of jeans and I had a hell of a time buttoning them up because of the weight I’ve put on. But I know it will go. And I also know that this exercise will help me become more focused and positive about the work I do everyday. Because I’m tired of being down and I’m tired of being depressed.

I signed on for one course at Kwantlen this summer – a third year Liberal Education course called CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION. The booklist interests me. We’re reading “THE ARTIST’S WAY” by Julia Cameron along with a book on CREATIVITY and another on the genius of creative people. It should fit in well with the personal journey and exploration I’m undertaking right now – to re-centre and refocus myself and to find my drive again.

I wanted to take a drawing or painting course but they only had one first year painting course offered at Kwantlen that had any seats left in it. But I can draw and paint on my own, at home. And it’s also a course I’ve taken before. I left registering too late. I was going to sign-up for geography, but I want to devote a lot of time to the CREATIVITY course. It’s important not only for my GPA as it could be an easy A, but it’s important for myself spiritually. Through Cameron’s book I can do some of the artistic things I’ve left on the side over the last few years. And I can’t forget about my online course with Athabasca that I need to finish.

Anyway – it’s time to have a shower and then head to work.

Have a great day everyone,

– Steve

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