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Last Bike Ride of the Year

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Each spring, as the weather begins to warm in the Midwest, my excitement for biking outdoors again is palpable. After a long winter, there is nothing like your first bike ride of the season. As a dedicated mountain biker, riding the trails in early spring is exhilarating. Over the course of the summer, as I get into riding shape, I tell myself that I could easily ride until the first snow. But, like all great plans, each year as November is upon us, I get a change of heart. With the weather getting significantly colder, I find it less desirable to ride outdoors. I know there are a few die-hard cyclists out there that embrace these elements and it is with great respect that I most humbly bow to you! But for me, each fall as I battle the weather and shortness of daylight, I surrender to riding indoors. I know that indoor riding does not come close to riding on the trails. But, on the other hand, no wind or cold to deal with and I can even watch Sports Center as I ride on my stationary bike. As I store my mountain bike for the winter, I pray that spring comes early next year!

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A Scary Halloween Fitness Tale

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Each year Halloween marks the official start of the season for overeating. It comes at such an inauspicious time of year when the weather over most of the country is colder, the days are shorter and our desire to exercise regularly begins to wean. Although I do everything in my power to maintain my self-control and not eat any of the Halloween candy, I fail miserably. After all, Halloween candies are packaged so nice and small, and it says on the package that their “bite size”. I start by telling myself that a few pieces of candy won’t hurt because I am going to workout and burn off these added calories. Unfortunately, I end up eating enough of those “bite size” candies to be equivalent to the actual full size package. Darn those candy company marketers are good! As my sugar high burns off and I crash on the couch, the tiredness takes hold, sending me into REM sleep. My plan to workout today has now been officially scratched. After a few days of this candy binge, I begin to realize that I’m feeling a little sluggish and slightly heavier. Knowing very well that my metabolism is not what it used to be, I force myself to start exercising again on a regular basis. Halloween is now a few weeks ago and all the candy is gone from the house. Unfortunately, just as I get back into my fitness routine, I realize that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and my wife is making Pumpkin Pie!