In the beginning of the summer of 2010, two unrelated things happened that shaped my journey in a meaningful way. The first one happened at home, the other happened in the Weight Watchers meeting.
At home, my husband Peter and I were like “walking fools”. Unless it was raining, we were walking a 5K every night. I’m the type of person who finds comfort in routine. Peter? Not so much. He likes variety. So about this time, Peter was ready to do something else. So he asks me while we were walking one night — “Hon, how about we walk every other day, and bike the other days?” I was like, Bike? Why would I want to bike? I’m getting good at this walking thing, and now you want to rip me out of my new comfort zone? One thing you have to understand is my husband Peter is Dutch. He was born and grew up in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. If you know anything about the Dutch, you know they were born and raised on their bikes. Biking and breathing go together in Holland. I remember back to a trip we made to Holland about 7 or 8 years ago. Peter took me on a car ride in Kinderdijk, along the river. It was summer and gorgeous! The roads were narrow, and hilly. Half way into our drive, we spotted this lovely Dutch woman on a bike, pedaling her way up and down this hilly road heading home (I suppose). Oh, this wasn’t just any ole bike. Her bike had a baby seat attached to the handlebars, WITH A BABY IN IT! And side baskets which were full of bread and groceries. This woman was hearty stock. Eh, just admit it Diane — this woman was STRONG, and there was no way in hell you could have done that! Yea, true…..back then 🙂
The second thing happened around this same time. I was at my Saturday morning Weight Watchers meeting, Denise was being funny, motivating, supportive. It was a good day. Then it happened. Cheers from the scales behind us. All of our attention was captured by this man who was obviously being congratulated for a big success. He told us he has just hit 50 pounds lost!! WOW. I want to lose 50 pounds. He had my attention. Denise, being the great leader that she is, spots a teachable moment! She asks him how he feels, what’s one thing he can attribute his success to? It was then that I noticed his helmet. Yes, his bicycle helmet, hmmm. He told us he cycles and loves it. He cycles to the Weight Watchers meeting every week. Another WOW. Then it happened. There in my seat in the back row of the Weight Watchers meeting, it happened. “I wonder if I could bike from my house to the East Brunswick Meeting Center?”
I went home and told Peter the story…..then asked him if we could start biking together? He smiled, gave me a kiss and went to the garage to dig our bikes out from beneath everything else. We pedaled around our neighborhood on our normal walking route for a few weeks, before I was brave enough to try to bike to the WW center. One beautiful summer weekend afternoon we decided to try. The trip starts with a hill right at the start. I went up that hill in my lowest gear, and so slow I wasn’t sure if I was moving forward sometimes. But the hill did come to an end, and the rest of the trip was fairly flat and enjoyable. Let’s not mince words — It was hard. Only straight talk here. Once we got there, we planned to go into ShopRite, which is near the Weight Watchers center, and buy a cool drink so as to give ourselves a rest, before we had to head back.
The trip is about 8 miles round trip and the hill that ate my legs on the way up — greeted us with open arms on the way down. The wind in my hair felt so amazing that I swear I was flying home. Honest. It was down right wonderful.
Since that trial run with Peter, I bike to my Weight Watchers meeting every Saturday in the spring, summer and fall, unless it’s raining. And thanks to Peter and my bike and everything I’d learned in the Weight Watchers meetings — in late fall 2010, I earned a 50 pound weight loss charm too. I was Running on 2 wheels and loving it!!
Ciao for now…..Diane