I am pretty sure I did not miss this

So it was 6:55pm when I checked the temperature last. It was 96˚ still outside. We had a very mild summer when you really think about it.

This is not what we enjoy when you ask those of us that live here what we like most about the place. Heck, most of us do not like to sweat all. We are realistic, however, and know that it could be worse.

Overall the weather is not horrible. Yes, it is hot and humid but when you consider other things that we could have to deal with as far as natural disasters are concerned, brutal heat for a few months is not too bad in my opinion. Once you become acclimated to the weather, it is just normal. It is what you know and fluctuations are just that – fluctuations.

We celebrate and enjoy the lows. We moan, whine, complain, and suck it up when we experience the highs. That is how we survive. It is what it is.

It is no fun to see signs that read 96˚ at nearly 7:00pm and to realize that it probably really is still that hot. You know it was hot. You were out in it today. Your body and the profuse amounts of sweat you experienced every time you went out in were enough to tell you that it was hot. It took very little effort for you to break a sweat when you went out in it. Truth be told, it took absolutely no effort for you to break a sweat when you went out in it.

This afternoon I was out in it and the humidity was high and the heat index was 106˚. That is what makes it worse. The humidity and the heat index – how it feels to the body. That heat index can make it feel so much worse than it is. The humidity can make it brutal.

When you know you have a choice to go out in it, the decision can be a struggle. You have to convince yourself to take that step across the threshold. How much easier would it be to go from the air conditioned house to the air conditioned car that is nicely parked in the garage? It would be easier to just throw in the towel and not ride the bike every day.

I for one am a somebody that does not like to sweat. I hate it. I know a lot of you would be fooled from the past few days and the past year and knowing that I am proud of the fact that I can and do ride a bicycle nearly 8 miles a day at least 5 days a week some weeks. Alas, it is now confession time. I hate to sweat. I hate to exercise and I hate to sweat. I hate to go outside when it is hot. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I really hate how the heat makes me feel. I hate being hot. That is the honest truth.

That being said, however, the past week and the past three days of this week have been a reminder – again – of just how much I did enjoy riding my bicycle growing up. I did enjoy it. It was liberating. As far as exercise goes, this is probably the only one that I can actually see myself doing long term. That or walking. I can walk a pretty fast walk if given the right motivation. That does not happen often. Getting out of the heat helps.

My problem is that my knees hurt and my back hurts. My lungs cannot keep up with me and my head and chest start to hurt. So I am just a mess. So I cannot run. I will not run. I cannot do an elliptical trainer because I have done that in the past and my heart rate went up too high too fast and would not come back down fast enough. Not good. I reported to my doctor about it and I was basically banned from ever getting on one again. Evidently it just puts too much stress on my heart and lungs and she does not want that. She did not want me to not exercise but she did not want me to hurt myself doing it. I was allowed to do low impact exercise that would be gentle on my joints as well. So that narrows out a lot of things. I am okay with that actually.

So for me, a bicycle is actually perfect in my opinion. It was something I really enjoyed growing up. It was something that my best friend, Margaret Goins, and I did all the time when we younger. That was what we did. We rode bikes all over the place. My injuries growing up most likely came from bike accidents, especially my concussions and even my emergency room trips. Before last year and Lance needing a mode of transportation to and from school, I had not ridden in many years.

The past year and now has been a reminder of those good times and how much I did enjoy it. The benefits to me have been evident over the past year as well. I have seen it when I have visited the doctor. She has seen it. So yes, I am proud to announce that I can and do ride a bicycle nearly 8 miles a day 5 days a week most weeks. That is the plan anyway. We’re off to a good start even if it is not perfect. I can do it. I am doing it. I will do it.

A couple of years ago, I am not entirely sure that I could say that I could do it. To be able to say that I can do it now is huge in my mind. I certainly did not feel like I could. I did not want to. So overall even wanting to do it is a huge step forward. I want to ride that bike. I look forward to it. I do not look forward to going out in the heat or sweating. I do not look forward to the aching muscles or the sore bottom. I do not enjoy the jerks on the road. I do not enjoy the sweat. I do enjoy the fact that I am no longer a part of the statistic. I do enjoy the fact that I am getting physical activity that I was not getting. I do enjoy the fact that I know that this is something that does increase my heart rate like it needs to be once in a while and it does not over tax my lungs and cause me asthma issues. I still have to ride with a rescue inhaler, but it is not a thing that I have to use all the time when riding anymore. It is a good thing. I am grateful for the opportunity to ride. I am grateful for the ability to ride. I am not grateful for the heat.

The weather man came on tonight and gave the weather report. It appears we will be doing the hot all over again tomorrow. The record high for the Houston area tomorrow is 98˚. The expected high temperature for tomorrow is 99˚. He claims that we will have a cold front next week. It cannot get here fast enough. The high temperatures were not missed while they were gone. They will not be missed when they are gone again. The weather is not what we love about this area.

Tomorrow, I will get up again and I will put on clean clothes and I will fasten a bike helmet on my head. Then Lance and I will set out on another almost 2 mile bike ride no matter what the temperature is in the morning. I will then return on that same route to do it all again a few hours later no matter what the temperature is that afternoon. I will listen to my child whine about how tired he is and how hot he is all the way home. Then we will do it all again the next day.

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