What is best in life?

I’m finding that the best things about losing weight and getting in shape are the things I don’t actually think about, most of the time.  Here’s an example.

Yesterday, we finally got training wheels on my son’s bike.  He got it for his fifth birthday back in October, and I’d been meaning to put them on for… well, four months now.  I had time and opportunity yesterday and sat down to do it, only to learn that the type of training wheels we bought didn’t work with the type of bike he had.  So, giving up, we hauled his bike over to the good people at Montgomery Cyclery.  After forty minutes of fooling around with trying to install the original set, I thought it was worth paying them to do it for us (after buying new training wheels that worked).

My son was excited.  So excited that he rode his bike out of the store and out to my car (which he nearly hit, because he’s still getting the hand of the whole “pedal backwards to brake” thing…).  So my wife and I look at each other, and we decide to go to Woodland Mound – it was about five minutes away from the store, and had a lot of level walking and biking paths for him to try out.  He rode around for a good half hour, covering a distance of – hmmm… somewhere between half a mile and three-quarters of a mile.  He also wiped out five times (didn’t get hurt any of those times, though), and declared he didn’t like the wind (it was strong enough at the park to shove him around), and panicked a little at the thought of going down a hill (because he’s just getting started).

I can sympathize with that “hill” thing, too.  When I was his age, my dad tried to teach me to ride a bike without training wheels through the simple expedient of pushing me down a hill and shouting “pedal, pedal!”.  The slope was a whole lot gentler than I remember it being, but I remember being terrified.  After a couple of days of this, my mom intervened and I got training wheels.

But I digress.  I had a point to this, and that point is that I didn’t think at all about walking three quarters of a mile with my son, or about trying to keep up with him when he was pedaling madly.  I just did it.  It wasn’t actually until this morning that I realized how much improvement that represents – back in July, there is no way I could have kept up with him.  Or that I could have managed to walk that much (especially with the ease I managed it).

I’ve said before that wanting to be able to do things with my son is one of my “whys” for this weight loss.  It was nice to see that starting to pay off.


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