It’s funny how different types of workouts affect the mind differently. When cycling, I think about the path in front of me, the wind blowing past my head, how the bike and legs are performing and just enjoy the ride. When I hike, it’s all about the scenery, the smells, the sounds and being one with nature, but with things like this, who can blame me
But when I do stairs, like I did tonight, sometimes I actually think about stuff. (I guess the stairs just don’t have the mental stimulation to keep me occupied). Tonight I started thinking about the me I was before I became Mountainstroh.
If you didn’t get a chance to read it, I can pinpoint the day I started down my path of adventure (and in turn starting giving my poor mom gray hair. ) You can read it in The day Mountainstroh was Born. This is a picture of the very beginning.
Prior to this, though, there was 31 years of life going on with our hero Tony. If he wasn’t climbing mountains, riding bikes, or even sky diving what the hell was he doing?
Well, I’ll tell ya, not a heck of a lot when it came to activity. As I did stairs today, I thought back to those days. There was a WHOLE lot more TV watching going on back then. Almost every night was a show I needed to watch. There was a lot of book reading, as there is now, and being stuck visiting with my ex inlaws. So in essence a LOT of butt time.
I hung out with the guys more though. We had dart nights, (which meant beer drinking) soft ball teams (which meant pizza and beer drinking) trips to Pullman (more beer drinking) and then those nights we just went out to drink beer. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love a good beer
But as we all know, nowadays I MUCH prefer a good glass of red wine!.
There was very little exercise (though I did own a bike, I just never rode it) a lot of red meat, and as already mentioned, lotsa beer. I think the only thing that saved me from being a beer bellied old man before my time is that the famous Valente metabolism (what my dad called the hollow left leg syndrome (I could more food than anyone in the room, not be full and not get fat)) kept in hight gear till I reached the 30’s.
I loved the outdoors, the mountains, the ocean, and all that the great Pacific Northwest has to offer, but I chose to enjoy it from the comfort of a car, and not by my own power. Given the fact I had a corporate desk job as well, I can see now I was on the path to becoming an overweight, and probably VERY grouchy old man before my time. (And I know quite a few of these.)
Instead, the mountain gods sent my buddy Steve to ask me to try to climb Mt, Rainier. I never made it to the summit, but I will never forget each and every attempt (4 of them) I made, and the things I saw. I remember all the other peaks I conquered, and the adventures I had. Most importantly, though, I learned that I LIKED to be in shape, I liked exercise (as long as its outside) and I LIKED knowing I could do anything.
Climbing morphed into cycling, and I have reached every goal I have attempted. I chatted with a guy on Facebook today who is doing his first century ride this year. His longest ride ever is 20 miles, but he is determined to make it. I gave him all the advice I had for a beginner, as I remember those days. However, knowing that when May hits, I will complete 3 centuries, and not have a doubt I can and will complete them all is a great feeling.
I am a 50-year-old office worker with inherited high blood pressure. No one makes me work out, or do long rides. (Though I DO have to keep up with my gorgeous wife who works out more times a week and much harder than I do! ) I do these things because I honestly enjoy the person I’ve become, the fun and adventures I have, and knowing being in shape, and doing what I do will keep me around for a long time!
The guy I was before I met Mountainstroh was ok, kinda nice, and at times funny, but I gotta tell ya, I much prefer who I am now! Like the wind folks!