Increased leisure; Decreased fitness

Every day I ride my bicycle. Every single day of the year no matter here I am going or what I am doing, I do so in a bicycle. Ever since I moved to Montreal I have been no stranger to bicycle commuting. First using my mountain bike to go back and to work, to later switch it up for the city’s bike sharing system Bixi. Eventually I got a cross bicycle which allowed me to go faster and later on I got a fixed gear, which became my year-round commuter.

I also went from riding summers to spring fall, and now I even do winters amidst the ice and snow of the city. The latter often times gets me many a risen eyebrow as people wonder how such a feature can be done. It is fairly simple for a variety of reasons:

  1. Motorists are more respectful of cyclists.
  2. Roads are for the most part clean, and studded tires do the job when they are not.
  3. My body temperature was actually warmer than when I took the subway in previous years
  4. Related to the above, I was never cold while I was outside.

My daily commute ranged from anything near 15 kilometers to around 20 if any detour was necessary, and admittedly kept me fit and stress free for the greater part of the past 18 months.

That is until we moved. We moved to a larger apartment in a better neighbourhood that also happens to be a blink of an eye away from work. In the initial relaxation that this brought forward, I stopped going fast, because there was no need to go fast, and I also stopped doing greater distances because I had no reason to do such a thing living so close to work. Fast forward three months after the initial move, and I have lost a lot of tone in my body and even managed to gain some fat as well. All of which is… inconvenient.

In one hand I managed to live stress-free from not having to do a relatively long commute from work to home and vice versa, and also managed to stay well rested the grand majority of the time, but in the other hand I also gave myself a reason and means to stop being as fit as I used to be, and now that this has become apparent I am paying the price — decreased muscle capability, decreased aerobic endurance, and generally displeased with what I can and cannot do with my bicycles nowadays.

So I had enough.

I started running and now I have started adding extra kilometers to the loop that I do from work on my way back home. There was a time when I constantly complained that I did not have neither the time nor the energy to do this, and now that everything has changed and I actually have both the time and energy to do it, I was lacking motivation, but this is not the case anymore.

Ever found yourself in a position where you did something that would gain you health and happiness, and even if you managed to get them, you ended up jeopardizing a different part of your well-being?

That is me right now. It is time to fix it somehow.

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3 thoughts on “Increased leisure; Decreased fitness

  1. Krista Jean says:

    Great post! It’s funny, I had a similar thing happen to me. I used to commute by walking or biking as much as I could, even if it took much longer to do so when I lived downtown. When I moved 10 minutes out of downtown to the top of a pretty long, steep hill, I started using my car more and more because I always anticipated the long hill climb at the end. My fitness regime hasn’t changed, and I don’t do it for fitness, but I would really like to force myself to forget the convenience and just go with the more environmental option. I think it’s amazing though that your commute can also serve as your work out of the day. Two birds!! Good for you for getting back into it as well!

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