I freely admit to being lazy when it comes to personal fitness. I feel waves of inspiration at times; for the three months leading up to my recent layoff, I was involved in a team fitness competition. During that period, I was using my Wii-Fit to work out every morning, and was going to the fitness center at work most afternoons. When the weather was nice, I’d hope on my red Trek 7.5 and pedal around downtown for an hour (about 11 miles).
While I was jobless, you’d think I’d have had the time to stay in peak physical condition. I did, but there were a multitude of excuses (have to stay by the phone, looking for jobs online, networking, etc.). Anyway, I didn’t regain all the weight I lost, but I’ve welcomed a lot of it back. I did get the bicycle tuned up (way to go Bikes Plus!), but when I do hop on, I’m only doing about 5 miles. I keep telling myself to keep the distance short while I’m “getting acclimated to working out.” What a load.
Anyway, I know it doesn’t compare to Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France. The sixth stage covered 112.8 miles, which would seem like a long way to me if I was driving a car… I really can’t imagine going that far on a bike in a single stretch. Maybe over a 2 week period.
According to the news, Norway’s Thor Hushovd won today’s stage, pedaling in the rain. Meanwhile, Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland is about a second ahead of Lance Armstrong for the overall lead. Amazing for Armstrong. Didn’t he break a collarbone a little while ago? And now, the 37-year old is battling for the lead — after managing to not slip, slide or crash on the slick roads. I turn around and head for home as soon as it even looks like rain.
I know Armstrong has won the tour 7 times already, and retired after the 2005 race, but he’s making it look like he can come back after 4 years and win again. I guess Armstrong and Willie Herenton could give lessons on how to win any time they want (Steve, that’s the only political reference today).
Anyway, it is amazing that Lance and the other riders have the strength and stamina to cover 2,200 miles in about 23 days. I know the sport has had its share of doping scandals — but that seems more for speed — not the ability to cover the incredible distances involved. And so much of the race is over mountainous terrain — I know people who ride more than I do who are afraid of trying to get over the Auction Street bridge to Mud Island (it’s really not that hard).
Kudos to Lance for surviving cancer… and broken bones… as well as dating Sheryl Crow… while being such an incredible athlete. Friday’s stage is another major challenge: “tomorrow’s 7th stage will take riders 139 miles from Barcelona to Andorra; sea level to more than 7200 feet.” It seems the only time that a lot of people in the U.S. care about the Tour is when Lance or another American has a chance at winning. With 15 stages left, it looks like one does, so start paying attention!