Last year I impressed even myself, celebrating my 40th birthday by posting 40 times over the course of the day.
How to top that this year?
Hmm. Not likely. I don't have the time to compose so many posts, or at least interesting ones. That wouldn't be quite fair, I believe.
So what, then?
Then an idea struck me on July 1, two days before my birthday.
Several months ago, I saw my doctor for the first time in quite a while. The blessing of good health kept me away from him. And when they did a full work-up of my blood, I was the model of health, with one exception - my cholesterol is through the roof.
This, frankly, pissed me off. Ever since losing 55 pounds with Weight Watchers several years ago, my diet has been incredibly healthy. I rarely eat red meat, I only use skim milk, I eat soy cheese and other soy-based meat substitutes. I rarely eat eggs. Rich desserts are treats, not the norms. I have large salads for dinner multiple times a week. How did this happen?
So we waited six weeks and ran the blood again. During these six weeks, I incorporated more bran into my breakfast (generally fruit and yogurt). I eliminated a lot of the chicken from my lunch salads. I patronized the local fruit vendors around Madison Square Garden and shunned unhealthy foods. I continued my regular lunchtime walks (from 31st Street down Seventh Avenue to 14th Street and back up Eighth Ave).
Last week I got the results back, expecting great news. My cholesterol actually went up a point.
As the youngsters say, WTF?
So my doc says I'm going on a statin med to lower my cholesterol. I protest. "What if I ride my bike more?" He looked at me and said, "That would be like pissing into the wind." I knew what he meant, but now that I think about it, it's not really that good a metaphor.
With my family history (see my Pop's recent posts over at his blog), I guess we can chalk it up to genetics.
But, getting back to the matter at hand, my what-to-do-in-honor-of-my-41st-birthday conundrum, I looked to the fact that I have barely been on my bike since April. In fact, I rode it more in the November-March period than in the April-June period. Defies logic.
So, to make a long story longer, I have decided to gift myself this 41st birthday with a challenge. And I'm posting it here on BillyBlog to cement in a higher level of accountability.
This morning, on the anniversary of my birth, I got my old middle-aged (ugh, really?) ass out of the house and on my bike, and I rode it.
And here, dear reader, is a photo of my 41-year old self, still tired, posing with the Verrazano Narrows Bridge:
And here is the celebration part. It is my goal to ride my bike, every day, for the next 41 days.
Yes, between my birthday and August 12, I intend to ride my bike. And I will bore you all with the details like, today, July 3, 2008, I rode 5.14 miles and I saw a dead rat. Or whatever. I'll try to keep it interesting for all of us. I'll even keep you posted on other vital statistics.
On the ride, I decided to give a snapshot to you all whenever I hit, you guessed it, 4.1 miles. Here's today's 4.1-mile picture:
I started my cholesterol prescription last weekend and I didn't sprout a tail or anything weird. It's a low dosage and I'm looking forward to good numbers in August when I re-test.
And if this sounds like all work and no play, don't worry. I'll drink at least 41 ounces of beer tonight in celebration of another milestone.
Thanks for reading.