When we were kids, one Sunday night, Breaking Away came on TV. We all watched Breaking Away, that summer night, me and my brothers and our neighbor Paul and the kids down the street, Mike and Tom and probably other kids, too.
And then we set up bike races in our neighborhood, based on Breaking Away. These were long bike races, too: the course was probably four miles long and had several large hills as well as a long race down the finish line.
We would do that for hours, it seems like, racing our bikes around and around this entire subdivision.
Now, I mostly bike on a recumbent bike while I read on my Kindle, and have televisions on.
I'm not sad about it, or even nostalgic. It's not like I'm looking back and saying those were the days and these are not, because really these are the days and I find it amazingly enjoyable to play Plants vs. Zombies while I exercise.
I think, when I think back to that biking and today's biking, that it's more that when I was that age I couldn't possibly imagine the world I would live in at this age, couldn't see myself someday going to a club and biking while playing video games and reading for a while, and then taking two little boys swimming and tossing them into the water and roughhousing with them and then walking home in the haze that precedes a summer thunderstorm, the kind of thunderstorm that has hot, heavy raindrops and doesn't clear the air so much as mix it up and lay it back down the same but different, still hot and still wet and still heavy but in a different order.
It's like they were two different people, connected by all the different people that were also me, but only by that, all of us together in a room sort of: the me that used to ride his 10-speed bike down Oxford Avenue as fast as he can hanging out, momentarily, with the me that is making sure that he remembers to grab some rocks for Mr Bunches and Mr F to throw into the river as we walk over the bridge home from the club where he was riding the exercise bike, and they're only there hanging out because they have in common the fact that they both know that guy who used to ride his bike out to Picnic Point during law school, and that guy is there because he's friends with the guy that once hopped on his bike to listen to the NBA Finals on his Walkman radio while he biked to his dad's house for dinner.
It's one of those summer days that has me thinking of things like this, and also thinking how I wish every day could be one of those summer days that has me thinking of things like this.
Today's exercise: Biking, 50:00, level two.
Latest Weight: 252.
Today's song that I was listening to and really getting into before my iPod went dead because I'm always forgetting to charge it up:
Neighborhood #3, Arcade Fire.
Yeah, I know it's the one Arcade Fire song everybody knows. I never pretended to be hip. Well, once I did, but it went badly; I couldn't quite master the irony.
A few quick notes:
Liz: I would measure my waist except yesterday I had to go buy two new pairs of dress pants, as the result of a weird zipper incident where my zipper just kept on going up, and I know that my waist is still a 42" (relaxed fit.)
Andrew: I mentioned I was going to read your short story The Tunnel and I did while I was biking and it was way too short. It was phenomenal and I'll give it a better write-up when I can but to others reading this: Follow this link and read one of the most intriguing, excellent short short stories you'll ever lay eyes on.
And finally, Rusty: forget emails; you've got me beat with the hilarious story about your first day of fitness. I made Sweetie read it and she laughed and later quoted it back to me out of context, and quoting something out of context is the greatest compliment you can get from Sweetie.