Friday, June 8, 2012


Dear Diary,

That inner spark I visualized yesterday was very snug and sleep this morning!  But knowing that there was a sunrise, a cool breeze, and a lake near the track, I made my spark get up and get going.

Biking to the track, I was surprised to ride past the Widow Maker (that awful bump in the sidewalk) and realize I hadn't even noticed it. 

Oh it felt so, so good to be at the track again this morning.  Once I got going, I didn't even miss my music. (St. Anthony, where is my mp3 player?).  The midges, the sun, and the moon were all up at the same time.

There'll be plenty of track time this weekend -- it's Relay for Life weekend at Euclid High School stadium.  It's always a good event, and this time I'll have the right footwear (no walking in sandals for me this year!).

I'm glad to go into the weekend with a plan to keep working out.  I've had enough time out for a while, now it's time in!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Did anyone ever say that a little rejection is good for the soul?  If not, let me be the first.

When I learned today that I didn't get the job -- the job for which I think I'm well suited, which I was excited about, which seemed a perfect match -- my reaction was "They didn't want me.  What's wrong with me?"

I started humming Loser

And then, lo and behold, I felt that little spark of competition come me to life in me; the flame that I haven't felt in months.

Everything's been coming too easily of late: surgery, illness, death -- it's all been dumped by the gods of Reckless Abandon.

My tune switched to We're Not Gonna Take It.

Yesterday I walked 3.5 miles.

Tomorrow I jog.

Then I'm going in search of a kickboxing class.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Adventure of the Bike & the Dog

Last year around this time I'd just rediscovered the joy and freedom of bicycling.  I pedaled around a nearby parking lot, reacquainting myself with the feel of turning, experimenting with the front & back brakes, and talking with enough people who didn't laugh at me that I cultivated some confidence.

Over the summer, my bike acquired a wardrobe of its own: water bottle holder, bike lock, baby bike seat, fancy bike-o-meter to tell me how fast & far I'd traveled. 

(yes, the baby seat is gone, but that's for another posting)

As for me I got a new helmet and even bike gloves for chilly morning rides.  I was becoming a regular at the local bike shop.

This weekend I found myself once again in the bike shop, this time with my daughter to buy her very first bike lock.  There's nothing like being in a bike shop to get the juices flowing.

So this morning when I arrived at the gym, having noticed joggers out in the morning sunshine, and found my workout buddy AWOL and that the gym was stuffy, and that I couldn't stand to be on a machine while watching sunlight flooding the golf course just outside the window...

Have you ever seen a dog riding a bike?  Me neither. 

(photo: google,

I have seen dogs in bike baskets, 
(photo: google,

but my 60-pound dog isn't in love with the idea.

When I was a child, I had a neighbor who would take his dog Samson with him on his bike rides.  I really didn't think much of it at the time.  I just knew that every day Samson and his owner could be seen on their 4-legged, 2-wheeled outings.

Now before you go getting any ideas about hopping on your bike and taking your untrained dog along with you, stop.  Read up on it, and you'll learn things like:

  *  Holding your dog's leash while you ride isn't safe.  A better choice is a leash attachment which attaches under a bike seat (like this).  It keeps your hands free for steering and braking, while keeping the dog in a good spot relative to the bike.

  *  Acquaint your dog with your bike. For us, that means taking some walks with me on one side, the bike in the middle, and my dog on the other side.  My dog naturally steered clear of the front wheel, and looked at the bike every now and then as if to a pack leader, waiting for instructions. 

  *  Teach your dog verbal cues for turning and stopping.

  *  Make good and sure that your dog is well-trained and not apt to lunge after squirrels, joggers, or other temptations. 

  *  And though my dog wasn't up to demonstrating, Always wear a helmet while biking -- even more always if there's a dog attached to your bike.