Thursday, May 07, 2009

When Life Gives You Bugs Make Bug Juice

As many of you know I hurt my ankle playing basketball in February while pretending to be "cool" with my boys and a neighbor kid. As a guy who's had multiple surgeries (including a knee and ankle reconstruction), broke my arm nine times (yes, nine and believe it or not I was not abused as a child) as a kid and broken every finger and toe at least once I should be accustomed to pain. I thought I was until this recent injury. To say its be an arduous recovery period would be an understatement!

Well my ankle is still swollen but the five minutes of spring we get in Austin simply was too much for me to resist. Both my bike, my butt and the many extra pounds I had put on over the winter and due to the convenient excuse of said injury were telling me it was time.

Man does exercise suck once you haven't been out there doing it for some time! I mean seriously...I didn't realize how much I had enjoyed feeling good and in shape until I suddenly wasn't. I can see that getting back to a reasonable weight and fitness level is going to take some time, patience and some perseverance on my part. That last part is why I write this this morning.

As I got out on my bike these past few days in the early morning hours the actually act of riding was really nice. It reminded me why I enjoy riding the bike. The cool (well somewhat) breeze in my face, the speed and the freedom of being back out doing something, anything, was exhilarating.

Then it happened.

First it was one here and there. Then an entire swarm. I peddled faster and they seemed to chase me for some time. BUGS! Little annoying flying pests out for a pre-dawn flutter over the trail. I managed to power through rubbing the little buggers (no pun intended - okay maybe a little) from my eyes and cheeks. I peddled faster and left them eating my dust smiling to myself at the shear physical prowess and speed I still had in me. With my mouth wide open and that self-satisfaction of a job well done it happened again!

I don't know how many of the list creeps I inhaled but clearly it was more than a few. This time the swarm was enormous. It looked like a black cloud of death. Tiny pelts of bugs exploded all over me - on my shirt, on my legs, on my face and in my hair. The faster I peddled the faster their tiny bodies seemed to explode and pop.

I made it through that first day riding completely covered. I ate more bugs than Bear Grylls could ever eat on one of his survival adventures. As I wiped off my face and flung my bug covered shirt over my shoulder that moment of truth happened. The mind that loves to make excuses for why we shouldn't or can't do something kicked in.

My thoughts immediately started saying...well there ya go, you missed the early spring riding when the bugs weren't going to be a problem and now look at ya...bug juice dripping from your teeth and your brown hair turned black with their dead carcasses. You simply don't need to exercise that badly do you? I mean seriously it's only a few extra pounds and besides...look at your ankle! It's still hurt...probably shouldn't even be riding anyway.

My mind was right. Too many bugs to ride in the early morning and way too many in the evening. I should just try eating a few more salads and drinking a few less beers. I could easily wait until the summer when the bugs hide from the heat and get back into my biking regimen then. That's what I should absolutely do.

I put my bike in the garage and continued to sort of laugh at the condition that I was in. It is true the last thing that goes through a bug's mind before it hits an oncoming Steve is its ass! I was covered with little departed souls that I am sure had no idea I as coming or that on this particular day I would be taking the role of bug executioner.

As my alarm clock went off this morning the mind quickly said remember those bugs. It's dark and they are just waiting to attack. Better hit the snooze button old pal. I decided not to listen.

You see whatever challenges life throws at you I believe they are there to test us to see how badly we want something. I want to get back into shape and aside from when bugs attack I enjoy the peacefulness of an early morning ride alone with my thoughts or some jumpy tunes on the iPod. That's my time and no bugs or no ill placed mind games are going to rob me of that.

So when I got out on the trail this morning I did run through a few bugs but somehow life seemed to acknowledge my will to push through and I didn't run through nearly the swarm of flying missles like I had the past few mornings. Who knows...maybe I killed most of them. Either way I am back on the trail and pushing through he challenge of pain, bugs and leaving those horrible excuses in the dust behind me.

The moral: When life gives you bugs, make bug juice and keep on keeping on.

Ripple On!!!


Shaune Haas said...

Steve, This is hilarious! Reading it this morning at 6AM while all others in the house were still sleeping, I began to sound like the old cartoon dog "Muttley" as I tried to subdue my laughter!!! I can relate too! I love leaving each morning and seeing my bicycle hanging upside down in the garage. I need to ride more, eat less, yada yada yada...... See you soon! :)

carianne said...

Funny...thanks for the laugh and the inspiration to keep on track with exercise...feeling good. Attitude is everything sometimes!