Yup. I decided this blog needs some love. Honestly, despite the best intentions, life just has a way of changing directions, and we are unwittingly, and sometimes unwillingly, pulled along for the ride.
So first a quick update: Last year I managed to come down with a case of Lyme Disease which kicked my butt and I completely lost my aerobic base. I was very fortunate that it was caught soon enough that there was no permanent damage.
This year was consumed by family, but in a good way. We are officially empty nesters with our daughter getting married and moving to Avalon NJ, our oldest son moving to West Chester with a new job and starting grad school, and our youngest son continuing his education at Susquehanna University. They are all doing well.
The wife got a promotion to some work she really likes, and has a good shot to get another promotion next spring.
I’ve also taken up the mandolin, which is a lot of fun because I’ve never played a stringed instrument before, and I’m actually getting pretty good. I go to country and bluegrass jams, play in church, and have even been heard singing in public. So I spend a lot of time practicing and playing.
I am still working at my job and enjoying it, but more and more people ask me: “So when are you going to retire?” Not yet, but it’s now something that I seriously am thinking about, and figuring that there are some things I want to do when that day comes.
Biking is obviously on that list, and I’ve mapped out a few tours that need to happen, both before and after the big day. That means I have to get some rides, overnights, and mini-tours in to get back in to the swing of it. There have been some minor changes to the Trucker, mainly saddle-wise, which I’ll detail later.
But the big thing on my list is my planned return to rowing. It’s been at least ten years, closer to fifteen, since I was in a shell. When I left the sport it was completely, because I knew that I could not just row casually, and with family I would not have time to train like I should. Now I figure I have the time, getting back into shape is part of the motivation; plus I just have this fire in my belly that needs a positive outlet.
Last month, I pulled out the boat cleaned it up, and sent it off to New Jersey for a refurb over the winter. It’s pretty rough looking and has some serious issues, but I’m promised it will come out looking new next March.
I’ve managed to lose 20 pounds through intermittent fasting and trying to avoid sugar, and I’ve also transferred my son’s gym membership since he moved and I’m doing pretty good – 2 to 3 times per week. Finally, a rowing ergometer, which is a fancy high-tech indoor rower, graces the basement, and is aptly named The Beast. More about that later.
So I’m hoping to revitalize this blog, but I think the topics will expand a bit beyond biking, now to my insights on returning to rowing, playing the mandolin, and life in general since I’m entering this new chapter. Let’s use the word catharsis.