I made it four miles on my bike today! It almost killed me, but I did it! :) I rode to the park, took a lap around it, then went through the middle of it, made another half lap around it and decided that I was done but right as I reached the park exit I decided to push myself to do another lap. I made it home and collapsed on the couch in a sweaty heap and cursed my new found hobby for a few minutes, but now that I can breathe again I'm proud of myself! Between the poor lung function due to my asthma and the fact that bike riding is working muscles that haven't been worked in a while, my body is having to work really hard, but it feels good.
I'm embarrassed that a short four mile bike ride is wearing me out, but you have to start somewhere, right? It's getting easier every day and I find that I can push myself a little farther each time. In a few weeks I hope that I'm cruising through multiple laps through the park and I have to start looking for longer routes.
Yesterday I was reading the blog of a guy who weighed something like 500 pounds and the doctor told him that he'd be dead in six months without gastric bypass surgery, but that he was in such poor shape that the surgery might also kill him. He went home, resigned to the fact that his life was over and as he was looking out the window he saw a guy riding a bike and he was envious of how happy and free that guy looked. To make a really long but fascinating story short, he found someone who agreed to make him a custom bike that would support his weight and he very slowly started riding it. First he could barely get anywhere but every day he went a little further and eventually a mile and then farther. He said that every time he thought he was done he forced himself to go one more mile.
He eventually lost hundreds of pounds, is super healthy and moved to Oregon so that he could bike year round. He logs thousands of miles on his bike every year.
You can read his whole story in this article. It's a fascinating story, I highly reccomend it!
I'm not significantly overweight like he was, but I am sadly out of shape and his story was really inspiring to me. He was the person I thought about this morning when I decided to take one more lap around the park. If a 500 pound man on the verge of death can get on a bike and get himself back in shape, there's no reason I can't do it.
So I'm sticking with the cycling. I might curse it when my lungs are on fire and my legs feel like Jello, but it's making me stronger and happier, and that makes it totally worth it.