We make holes in teeth!

Monday, May 08, 2006

On the Road Again

By Willie Nelson. Usually when I get back on the bike after some time off I sing Back in the Saddle Again by Aerosmith. Yesterday, for whatever reason, I continued to cycle Willie Nelson's tune instead. Why that is, I have little more of an idea than you might. Perhaps as I get older, I tend to identify more with old Willie than with the never-say-die mediocrity of Aerosmith.

Regardless of the theme song, the point remains that I went for not 1 but 2 road bike rides this weekend. Sunday marked the 3 week point in my daughter Julia's life, which explains why I Was off the bike in the first place. Given the rigors of having a new screaming person who needs constant holding, feeding, and diaper changes, I think 20 days off isn't bad at all.

I did 2 of my common rides, the first being a short 14 mile loop out the township road and back through the swamp, and the other a nice 17 mile hill ride out route 512 and back through some of the side roads of Warren. Compared to my earlier rides this year, I'm not where I was before Julia was born. This can't be a surprise given that I'm sleeping little and eating like shit these days. But I am posting the same averages I was pulling in at the end of last season, which is saying something.

I don't think I can ride more than 90 minutes at this stage. By the end yesterday I was happy to be done. That came in just under an hour and 10 minutes. I could have done a little more but I had ridden enough, so was happy to be home. The last hill up and over to get back to the house hurt more than it should. So yeah, I pulled the same average as last year's end-of-season but I think adrenaline may have played a small part in that. But to be fair, I'm not exactly well rested.

You would think my first blog in three weeks would deal more with my new daughter, the experience in the hospital, and life at home. It's almost like there's too much to tell at this point, a blog entry can't really do justice. Also, I find it difficult to remember a lot of what happened in the past 3 weeks. Much of life has been a blur. This weekend's ride signifies a small step towards getting back into the swing of things. I did yardwork, went for bike rides, ran errands, drank a few beers - normal weekend life. Add to that the constant attention one needs to devote to a newborn and you have a pretty full weekend.

So the title of this post is meant to be a direct comment on my getting on the road bike again, but it's more than that. Saturday we had our very first day where Natalie, Julia, and myself had the whole day alone with nothing we needed to do. Sunday was more or less the same, but Woody came by with lunch and I got to play with Me-J a little bit. More importantly, this weekend serves as a milestone in getting back to our past habits, but with a new daughter in the mix.

A lot of the difficulty in having a kid is trying to do the things you like to do (maybe sleep, read, watch TV, hike, zone out, cook, clean, yardwork, exercise - you name it) but remain attentive to the crying child at hand. At this early age, they don't cry for attention so much as they can't cope with stimulation or slight discomfort. So you need to be on your toes 24/7 until they get a sense that everything is ok in the world. Basically, that means dropping the book immediately or not getting too attached to the idea that you can eat dinner at 6:00 every night. If you accept the idea that life is going to get cranked up a little bit for a few weeks or months, then it's really not that bad. You deal with it and pick the book back up when she goes to sleep.

Anyway, I'm on the road again.


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