American Skid Marks
Setting out on a great American motorcycle roadtrip.

No Country for Fat Fatties

I’ve gotten fat. I’d love to say that it snuck up on me, but I’ve been impotently aware of the process for the past few years and done nothing to stop it. What could be the source of these mysterious fat deposits? At first I looked for the cause in the most likely places: George Bush, Al Qaeda, Marijuana, Gay Marriage and Pit Bulls all seemed like likely causes of my mysterious flabbiness.

Alas no, I came to realize that the cause lay elsewhere. It turns out that comfort and security, love of beer and good food and a steady stream of things to keep me busy that sounded a hell of a lot more fun at the time than exercise, have all led to my expanding waistline and shriveling muscles. Slowly and surely I’ve lost muscle mass and packed on pudge. It has been apparent to everyone, but all of you fuckers around me have just been too nice to point it out.

My lack of physical conditioning was illustrated to me last week when I had the privilege of going skiing with a fine group of folks in Canada. On my first run down the mountain I realized that my brain remembered how to ski. That is, it still knew what to say to my legs to allow me to gracefully carve smooth arcs through the powder. My legs however, refused to listen. To their credit, they were not being obstinate; they desperately wanted to respond. But half way down each run, as the lactic acid burned in them, they liquefied. Unresponsive. Numb. My lungs heaved and burned, struggling to deliver oxygen to the rest of my body. Ineffective. Pathetic.

Truly it was sad. My brain proudly shouted orders, “Do this. And now do that” to a body that was just incapable of response. Like a general shouting orders to an army of the dead and dying. I was lucky to not end up either face down or in the trees on every descent.

Beyond the obvious implications for my vanity, my current physical state is important for three reasons.

First, there is no way I’m going to be able to physically handle this ride if I don’t get in shape. Four years ago I rode my bike from the Bay Area to Seattle along the Pacific coast. Click for some photos. It was only six days and the daily mileage was was fairly low, but by the end my body was tired. Not, you know, ‘old guy with a walker’ tired, but I was definitely cramping up in my back and neck. I was ready to get off my bike for a solid week by the time I was back in Seattle.

I was four years younger then and far more likely to be found puffing away at a gym. I don’t remember what I weighed, but I’d guess that all in all I’m a good 25 pounds heavier now. Let’s estimate, 15 pounds less muscle and 25 pounds heavier. So, (good grief) that’s and extra 40 pounds of fat I’m porting around these days.

Second, I’m doing most of this ride in the middle of summer. By August I’ll be riding through the Southwest US. New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and southeast California. Now, let me just consult my almanac … Holy Shit!That’s Fucking Hot!

For you skinny bastards out there, let me clue you in to something: Hot weather is not kind to the fatties. If I close my eyes and try to imagine myself riding in that kind of heat, I can’t even see an image of myself ! All I can see is a vision of a giant plump roasted chicken stuffed awkwardly into my riding jacket speeding down an animated desert road sizzling in the heat. Part of surviving the heat will be to cut my body fat.

Finally, as I pointed out in a previous post, motorcycle gear is not cut to fit Teletubbies. When I try on riding pants, any pants that I can squeeze my big butt into and fasten at the waist are waaaaay to long. Now, part of this lies in the fact that I have a long torso and short legs (Shut up! I do!). But a lot of it lies in the fact that motorcycle pant manufacturers assume that anyone with an ass as big as mine must also be pretty damn tall. So, I can either wear awkward fitting gear, spend a shitload of money to get tailored riding clothes or … get in shape.

Alright! Enough whining.

The crux of my workout program will be large doses of methamphetamines and self induced vomiting. As effective as that sounds, I plan to kick it up a muthafuckin’ notch and actually do some physical training as well.

Now, any fitness plan has to be adjusted and modified as time goes on, but for now I’m going to get all ‘housewife’ on that ass. That’s right, I’m doing workout videos! The weather in Seattle sucks right now and I don’t have a gym membership, so bouncing around my living room in my orange leotard sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Lets get physical, physical!

For now, my plan is to alternate a couple workout videos that I have at my disposal. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I’m going to be ‘shredding’ along with ‘Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred’. This video is broken down into 3 levels. I tried level 1 yesterday expecting it to be trivial. It was not. The entire workout, from warm-up to cool down stretch, takes only about 25 minutes. But it most certainly kicked my ass. As my fitness returns I’ll be moving up the levels.

On Tuesday and Thursday I’ll be dusting off my old copy of Bryan Kest’s ‘Power Yoga’ DVD. This one is also broken down into 3 levels. Even when I was doing yoga semi-regularly I never got up to level 3. Again, as ‘my level of strength gradually increases’, I’ll be moving up the levels.

I also have access to a friends copy of the P90X Plyometrics DVD. Tried it. Fuck that shit. I barely made it through the first 25 minutes of a 60 minute workout. That is definitely not the place for me to start. Maybe after a couple weeks of the 30 Day Shred/Power Yoga workout I’ll be ready to try it again.

So that’s the plan. 5 days a week with maybe as sixth day of yoga thrown in. I’m done with all of the procrastination and kidding myself. If I want this ride to happen, I’m going to have to work for it.


3 Responses to “No Country for Fat Fatties”

  1. I laughed out loud at your image of a roasted chicken, stuffed into motorcycle pants, driving through the desert.

    You’re the shit for taking this on.

  2. Hey… Mike… your FAT! I pointed it out ;). I would have done it sooner but it has been a few years.

    Welcome to America. Are you hungry? Stop by Carls Jr. No! that stuff is FATTY! Do the light Subway plan…phtt!. That is a joke.

    Sir, would you like double meat on that sub? Just make it a foot long its only $5. What kind of cheese would you like? Do you want mayo on both sides? salt pepper oil? Jarad was propaganda.

    Let me add that I too had to cut a few more holes in my belt. 😐

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