We all have opportunities in life. Whether we take advantage of them or not is almost always up to us. Unfortunately, two of the biggest opportunities we miss is getting more exercise and losing weight. Why we don’t take advantage of those opportunities to fix those problems can usually be attributed to family, money, time, and career.

Missed Opportunities

Over the past 39 years I’ve missed lots of opportunities to both lose weight and improve my health. I’ve never really taken it seriously until the last year but even then only made a half-hearted attempt at it. I trained pretty hard last year to ride my first century until bike problems derailed that in September. While training I missed a huge opportunity adjust my diet and if I had done so I would have seen much more weight loss and better fitness gains. Am I unhappy with what I achieved last year? No but I know it could have been better. That’s why this year, my 39th year, will be a breakout year. I will not reach the age of 40 without making some big changes.

Over the past two weeks I’ve been posting articles on commitment, self-discipline, 50 reasons cycling is great, motivation, how to measure cycling success, and nutrition. All of those articles mean something to me personally and I hope will inspire cyclists or others, like me, trying to lose weight and improve their lives.

What Am I Going To Do?

  1. Ride. I never would stopped riding if my old bike hadn’t given up the ghost. There’s nothing I could do about it though and that bike gave me over 15 good years when I actually used it. Now that I’ve finally purchased a newer used bike I can begin training in earnest again. I started on the trainer a couple of weeks ago in order to get my legs back and get reacquainted with sitting in the saddle. I’ll continue on the trainer until the evenings start to get longer and if the weather is good on the weekends plan on riding out at White Rock Lake again. I moved to a new place a few months ago and am now within riding distance of the lake instead of having to drive there.
  2. Train. When preparing for my first century I followed a Century Training Plan out of Bicycling Magazine. I think it did a great job in preparing me even though I didn’t get to ride the century. I think it’s very important that when we ride we ride with a purpose. That means each ride is part of either a short or long range training plan (I can thank my 16 years in the Navy for this kind of thinking). I’m very tempted to restart the Century Training Plan and target a late spring century ride. I plan on doing a post about training in the near future.
  3. Eat right (Live). This is my biggest missed opportunity of all. I’ve known for years that my eating was terrible but never took the time to fix it. That changed yesterday when I got started with nutrition. Initially I’ll just be counting calories while adhering to a 2000 calorie per day plan. I want to get a feel for portion sizes and what nutrients I’m getting first and then start fine tuning it later. The two biggest things for me in this area is to stop eating out and to drink more water. Look for more posts on nutrition in the future.

Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)

Today I’m 39 years old. I don’t bring that up just to get ‘Happy Birthday’ comments (although those are nice) but to bring up the point that I’m at a major cross roads in my life. I’ve missed opportunities for 39 years to improve my fitness and health. I don’t want to turn 40 a year from now and not have turned things around. I missed opportunities to do things with my cycling that I had always wanted to do like local criteriums and time trials. I really want to change that and see if I can get myself into some semblance of athletic fitness to attempt those things.

What Am I Getting For My Birthday?

My wife sent me an email this morning letting me know that she and the girls couldn’t decide which Twin Six jersey to buy me so they left the decision up to me but I am leaning towards buying myself a new helmet instead (edit: I’m getting the helmet). I’m way overdo for one and would rather wait on the jersey until I can fit into it better. I’m also waiting to hear back on something I submitted myself for that’s announced on 2/28 (it’s not job related). Not sure if I’ll make it but if I do it would be a great birthday present and I think would go a long way in helping me, and others, in the three areas above. Only time will tell but I imagine the competition is tough.

Throwing Down The Gauntlet

I’ve laid out in broad strokes what I’m doing above. Details will emerge later as I refine my training and nutrition plans. Are any of my readers doing the same? Are you waiting for an excuse to Ride, Train, and Live? Are you up for the challenge?

Feature image courtesy of Baston.