I used to run marathons. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and a lot of my friends were runners. I actually got to be pretty good at it. I didn’t so much like the running as the sense of accomplishment at the end. Finishing a run felt really good. I also liked pushing myself and improving my times. I ran races mostly for the swag. It didn’t so much matter what place I came in as long as I finished. I was way more interested in whether or not I was able to improve my personal stats. It also helped keep my beer gut in check and that made it worth continuing.
Then about five years ago, I got into an accident. I was running around my neighborhood and I was hit by a car. Totally the driver’s fault, but at least she stayed with me until help arrived. It wasn’t so bad, cuts and bruises mostly, but it did break my leg. That sort of sucked. It was just the way the car hit me, I guess. When I was doing the physio afterward, I had to ride a stationary bike. I hadn’t really thought much about biking before that and I realized I liked it.
I cleared it with my doc and got my own bike. Not a stationary one, the kind that I could take out and ride places: a mountain bike. The stationary bike was getting pretty boring. I started just around my neighborhood (avoiding cars, of course) and I liked that way better than the stationary bike. From there, I started going on trails near my place. I realized I could apply the same runner’s mentality I used to have to biking. I started researching trails and their difficulty. As I got more into it, I found different ways to track my stats, and the information was pretty comparable to the info I used to get from running. I am really into stats in case you did not know. It’s how I know I am improving.
The more I rode, the better my leg felt and the stronger it got. And I really, really liked it – which is more than I could say about running. It was work but it didn’t feel like work quite as much as running did. I got my running buddies into it, too. It became something that we could do together instead of running and that sort of fell by the wayside. Soon instead of marathons, we were riding in races. Nobody won anything right away but that was not the point. It was getting out into the nature, discovering places we had never seen before and had no real reason to be other than to ride.
Eventually I also got a dirt bike. It doesn’t give me as much of a workout as my mountain bike, but it certainly is a lot of fun to ride!