December 30, 2009 Posted by Amy King


My normal workout routine has been blown off course this vacation - in some unexpected ways. 

Expectedly, and as a bonus, on Christmas Eve, Chris was off work, so I took a dawn patrol ride with my friend, Jen.  We braved the cold (while we certainly do not have the weather most of the country is enjoying this time of year, 45 degrees is chilly when heading downhill), and rode some local hills.  It was a nice change to have a bike ride mid-week, which dark has prevented me from doing since October, and I was thankful to have my best riding buddy able to join me.

On Christmas day, after a morning of presents and breakfast, Chris and my brother-in-law went out for a mountain bike ride.  I finished putting together a dollhouse for my daughter (whew!) and headed out for a light spin while my mother-in-law watched the kids (thanks, Eileen!).  It was a lovely day and I was enjoying myself.  Wasn't pushing hard at all, as intended, but did a short climb.  As I was climbing, I was reviewing my food intake (see my entry on the Weight Loss Challenge), and was thinking I'd been doing alright.  I thought about our plan for dinner...didn't have to worry about eating too much ham (not a fan), would take it easy on the scalloped potatoes, and have lots of veggies.  Oh yeah, and I'll have to limit the bread pudding for dessert...bread pudding for dessert...OH MY GOD we're having bread pudding for dessert and I DON'T HAVE WHAT I NEED TO MAKE IT!  Crap.  The store closes at 5:00.  I'm at the top of the hill in the middle of nowhere and it's almost 5:00!  What do I do?  Start sprinting!  Thankful for light traffic, I cruised down the hill and was lucky at the stop light (although I did startle the car that was slow on the start).  The rest of the ride was flat, good for going fast, and I pushed hard, afraid to look at my watch to lose even that much time.  As I got closer and closer, I thought about the logistics of making a store run.  No trailer.  Ok, I can carry bags on the handle bars; done that before.  No lock.  Not leaving my Madone out, even if it IS Christmas; I'll just have to bring it in.  Bike shoes.  Good thing I don't have much to buy; I'll be careful.  I pulled into the parking lot, rode up to the door, jumped off my bike, and ran (carefully - bike shoes) inside with another last minute shopper.  And was met by a crowded store!  I was already sure I looked ridiculous, clip clapping around the store in lycra and toting a bike, but I got the looks to confirm it.  But instead of feeling like an idiot, I was just feeling thankful that I made it on time and that my bike was light and easy to maneuver through the store (in addition to getting me there on time - how's that for a great bike?)!  I got the ingredients, went through self-checkout and headed home, legs a little more worked than intended, but feeling a little less guilty about the bread pudding I was going to enjoy later!

After Christmas, we headed up to Tahoe to enjoy the snow piling up there.  I enjoyed a day off exercise, then snowboarding, and then decided to try snowshoeing.  I walked down the main road, intending to veer off on a path for "shoeing."  The main road was still slushy and narrowed by snowfall, and I came around the corner to find a car stuck in a turnout, with a family trying desperately to get it out.  The wife was at the wheel, two small children in the back, while her husband and some (very small and elderly) grandparents tried to push the car out.  I put my snowshoes aside, and tried helping them push.  It was very clear that they did not have a lot of experience driving in snow, so we made a few modifications (one being to get the grandparents out of harm's way and looking out for traffic.  After about 25 minutes and a lot of digging and huffing and puffing (who would have thought digging a car out would be such a good workout?), we managed to get the car in a better position to exit.  Another car with two guys stopped, Grandma stopped oncoming traffic, and we got the car on their way!  The man asked if he could get my number so they could send me something as thanks.  I refused, saying there was no need.  Afterwards, I remembered my friend, Mr. Aldana, who rescued my wallet and would not take a reward. I continued on my way for a hearty yet peaceful session of shoeing, glad I could pay a kindness forward.

My "normal" routine doesn't start back up again until after the New Year, and while I am looking forward to getting back in the groove, after these two small adventures I'm looking forward to seeing what else awaits me for some unexpected workouts.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Comments on this post

what a great story- thanks for sharing it with us. Hope you all have a great New Year. We went and saw the Princess and the Frog- unfortunately- it had a little bit of Disney darkness that I could have done without. Take care Love ya Margaret

You are a true "Good Samaritan" - Happy New Year!

Great story Amy! You have a gift at writing as well as being a good person.
Thanks for the story and the great time in Tahoe!

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