I’m on a mission to get back into shape. Not to say I ever WAS in shape, but at least I could spot a muscle or two amidst this mass of droopy flesh. Locating a muscle on me today is like looking for sunken treasure. You know it’s under there somewhere. But I have to say I miss my muscles, so I’m on a mission to find them again.Last year when I hurt my knee, I stopped playing tennis, jogging and working out. Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t particularly love going to the gym but I know it’s a necessary evil. I’m hoping to someday do situps without moaning like a woman in labor.
For those of us getting long in the tooth, the time comes when we realize we actually do have to MOVE IT OR LOSE IT. They weren’t lying about that. Lean muscle decreases at a rate of about 1% a year after age 40. And to look at me now, I’m way ahead of schedule.So in the spirit of getting buffed, a couple weekends ago I did a biking event with my friend Patti. The Tour d’Organics commences from Sebastopol, winding through the wine country of Sonoma County. The routes offered were 16, 35, 65 or 100 miles. And no, I didn’t do the 100. I’m crazy, not stupid. I am, however, working my way up to stupid.Anyway, Patti and I decided to do 35 miles. Although she recently completed a 100-miler at Tahoe, she opted to help me get back into it by joining me on this shorter rolling-hill ride. What a friend, huh?
This event is awesome because not only does it take place along picturesque back roads, but the best part is stopping at various organic farms along the route to sample their fruits.
This has a two-fold benefit. First, we get to rest every 10 miles and then we get to stuff our faces while doing it. Lucky for us it’s the best time of year for face-stuffing. The farms offer organic strawberries, pears, peaches, raspberries and just about every type of apple known to woman.
We got off to a comical beginning when Patti and I took a wrong turn one block from the start. (Too much gabbing.) Eventually we noticed we were biking alone. So once we quit laughing, we quickly turned back to start over. It’s always something, isn’t it? But it added a couple more miles to our workout, so it’s all good.Each stop displayed an assortment of goodies for our devouring pleasure: various peanut butters, almond butter and cashew butter, all on organic breads. We ate nuts, potatoes and bananas for energy, sampled fresh apple juice and tried various organic jams like ginger with pear. We weren’t that hungry but who could resist?
Even though I ended the ride heavier than I started, it was a gorgeous day and great event. Afterward, we listened to an awesome band, with Johnny Cash’s nephew on guitar, and enjoyed an organic vegetarian Mexican lunch. How I managed to indulge (even more) is a mystery.
So I’d say my mission to get into shape is off to a rocky start. But we did finish easily and I know I could have gone another 20 miles, especially with refueling at every farm along the way! (Nothing beats just-picked peaches waiting at the next stop to motivate my legs to pedal faster.)And there you have it. I’m back biking and look forward to the next ride. Since we live in such a beautiful, bountiful area, there’s no shortage of rides offered where the exceptional fruit and veggies of our region adorn tables at the various stops along the way.
Come to think of it, maybe biking won’t help my mission to get into shape if I engulf the goodies at every rest stop. That’s why I’m signed up for Pilates classes (no food there) and bringing friends, Sue and Ayako. They say having workout buddies forces you to show up.
We’ll see about that.