For about the past three or four weeks, on weekends, I’ve been consistently getting up around 4:00 am and either riding my bike or driving to the gym Saturdays and Sundays. Been a little hit or miss before that. No idea why I’ve had better motivation recently than formerly. My doctor told me about a year ago I should concentrate on strengthening my back and rotator-cuffs to alleviate bilateral shoulder pain he attributed, in part, to having overdeveloped my pectorals. But to look at me, you wouldn’t think so. Still, I’ve complied with his advice and my posture has improved as well as, a little bit, that shoulder pain.
My workouts have lasted about an hour and a half, and I incorporate legs and abs, some tricep and chest, with my primary lat, back, and bicep work. Am I a glorious specimen of beautiful middle-aged masculinity? Not so much, although I feel better – it’s good to feel strong. I’m gaining weight, but my clothes still fit, so some of that must be muscle.
This was our year to spend Thanksgiving with my wife’s family but we stayed home for the holiday because of my work schedule. We spent a really pleasant day with my family, instead. Friday, my wife finished decorating the house for Christmas and my son and I went for a bike ride around the neighborhoods. We stopped by and visited my godparents and then rode home when the boy looked like he was about to fall asleep. He’s not ridden much over the past couple of months, so he had a hard time riding back up hill.
By some miracle or fluke of predestination and providence, I turned out not to be a complete monster. I’ve written in this space, at some time or other, that for me or someone like me, the great adventure is to live the ordinary life in an ordinary way. You can probably not grasp how unimaginable an outcome that seemed for me when I was young or how much joy it brings me now. It’s what I’m daily most thankful for – my wife, son, our health, meaningful work for both my wife and myself, a modest house in a modest neighborhood, self-directed recreational activities like cycling, paddling, strength training, reading, a small and extremely Calvinistic congregation where we are accepted and maybe for the most part liked and to which we contribute by participation, prayers, offerings. Also my extended family – much more important to me now in middle age than it seemed when I was a young man.
I have a lot to be grateful for and I hope you do, too.