You should have seen the blog my computer just ate. It was wildly funny and crazy wise. (Sigh.) Reboot.
………Alex mentioned his almost-daily 7-mile run. And that got me to thinking. My first thought is Mayo, the midget poodle who runs alongside Alex, may be the real story there.
I used to run. (He sighs again.)
Now I am a biker. I am biking as far as I can as fast as I can. Kinda hot here in Florida. And headwindy. I may live – truly -live in the hilliest neighborhood in the hillest area of the state.
Four days in a row consecutively, I have biked as far as I could as fast as I could. Of course, I know better.
I am tired. So tired. I swear I can feel the protein filaments in my muscles. Too tired to work on my latest treatise: In Defense of Lance Armstrong. I’m thinking tainted burgers.
But I am proud of myself. So proud. And then there’s the rest of it. I am too tired to fully explain the benefits of cycling.
I walk around the house in tight shirts. “You’re supposed to look good,” my wife said. “That’s your job.” I am too tired to work on another piece I have started, Memoirs of a Male Trophy Wife.
Okay, I’ll keep it short. If you want to look better, feel younger and healthier, if you want a happier life, get yourself a bike.
…………………..This guy knows what I am talking about. Read, please, Well Being: A Key to Unlocking Happiness by Art Carey…………………….
My morning run in Maine follows a three-mile loop. It begins with a climb through the woods, levels off, and ends with a gradual descent along the shore. Here, the trees part to reveal a sloping meadow that affords a sweeping view of Frenchman Bay and the majestic mountains of Mount Desert Island.
The other day, at about that point, I was flying. Every cylinder was firing. My stride was long and strong. I felt as loose and light as the high school cross-country runner I once was. The ground kissed my feet, imparting energy. For the first time in a long while, I was free of injuries, aches, and pains.
The sensation thrilled me, and I experienced a surge of joy, a moment of pure happiness.
In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “I was all alive, and inhabited my body with inexpressible satisfaction.”
Although chronicling the strivings of the cut and buff is my ostensible mission, my real subject is the pursuit of happiness.
I don’t profess to be an expert on happiness (or to be happy all the time), but after more than 60 years on this planet, here’s what I know:
Happiness is fleeting, accidental, serendipitous. Benjamin Franklin was right: Happiness is produced “not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.”
Happiness is a matter of attitude. It’s how you react to life’s curveballs that ultimately determines your batting average. “Life is 10 percent what you make it, 90 percent how you take it,” the saying goes. My grandfather used to tell me: “Artie, there’s no bad weather, just different kinds of good weather.” (And he lived to be 96.)
Happiness is much harder to attain if you’re not healthy.
Think of when you’ve been hurt or sick. You feel out of it, on the sideline, apart from the human race. Suddenly, all your priorities shift, all other worries fade. Nothing matters so much as getting better, getting back in the game. Happiness depends on healing.
Hazrat Inayat Khan, the Indian mystic and teacher who brought Sufism to the West, said: “The soul is happy by nature; the soul is happiness itself. It becomes unhappy when something is the matter with its vehicle, its instrument, its tool through which it experiences life. Care of the body, therefore, is the first and the most important principle of religion.”
This article originally appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/10/12
Mr. Carey was discussing running. I speak running. But I do not speak biking. So I called my favorite excercise scientist and asked for a translation. I omit his name here because he lost me at “nomogram.” I know he knows all about the plethora of variables and those icky nuances. He knows me and graciously deigned to skip all the mumbo jumbo. I told him I wanted the basic ”beer and a girl” translation.
Let’s call it 3.5 biking miles to every running mile, he told me. At 15 miles per hour.
I am thinking I can do a marathon a day.
Just not every day.
Not yet anyway.
And I can go a helluva lot faster. - JDW