Can I fit in the kilometers?

2017 is three Big Years: a wonderful all-consuming writing effort, a Rock Music Big Year and the subject of this post, my Fitness Big Year. The Fitness commitment? I undertook to exercise every day in order to cycle 5,000 kilometers, jog 1,000 kms and hit the gym 100 times.

That’s not a trivial undertaking. After nearly five months, I love the way the daily commitment gets me out, in sunshine or rain, without caviling, often just out of habit. The commitment isn’t in fact for 365 days because travel days, for example, are impossible, so I’m aiming for 315 days and so far have headed out 129 times, well on target. For those of you bewailing the impost of exercise, I can heartily recommend the Big Year discipline.

But that good news has to be tempered by a disquieting shortfall in my quantitative 5,000/1,000/100 goals. The maddening problem is what a number of my family and friends predicted: “Andres, ever heard of balance? You’ll never fit it all in!” Wise words indeed, for over the last six weeks, writing pressures have meant that although I can force myself out for an hour, any longer has instinctively been out of bounds. Damn it, I think, the book is more important!

Oh, the cycling has been glorious, a revelation, and I can thank the Big Year for its fresh bliss, but my bike illustrates my quandary. I’ve ridden 1,500 kms and for a few weeks managed a weekly target of 120 kms. But 120 kms is 6 hours (I’m slow!) and lately all I’ve managed is 3 hours. Two choices present themselves: sign on once more for 6 hours, beginning next week, which will bring 5,000 kms within reach; or stick with 3 hours/week, in which case I’ll end up with between 3,000 and 3,500 kms.

Sigh . . . sigh . . . sigh, it’s decision time, for the emotional stress of competing goals is sawing away inside my head. I hereby trim my goals: in 2017 I aim for 3,500 kms of cycling, 900 kms of jogging, and 90 gym visits.

To a geek’s eye, 3,500/900/90 isn’t nearly as attractive as 5,000/1,000/100 but let me ignore that and get on with a challenge that is quite tough enough.

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