“You’re lazy, fat and ugly!” are just some of the insults I’ve never had thrown at me. But, despite their non-existence as Tim-directed abuse, it’s certainly true that I’m quite lazy, especially when it comes to exercise.
I know that jogging or going to the gym is good for you. Exercise seems to cure, or at least help with, pretty much ill you can suffer from. Exercise can help reduce insulin resistance, release endorphins and so on, but can I be arsed getting off my sofa and doing something healthy? Nah, of course not.
But all that recently changed. After burbling on about my old pre-diagnosis cycling exploits during the summer, my wife Katie suggested that I buy myself a mountain bike. Given that we live a few hundred meters from the Pentland Hills and the vast range of muddy cycling that it offers, this actually sounded like quite a good idea.
So a few weeks later I found myself sitting atop my new Specialized Hardrock Disc ’12 which I’ve nicknamed “The Beast”. It’s called “The Beast” as for many years I’ve ridden a proper road bike, which weighs about 3 grams and has tiny thin wheels. The new bike is huge, chunky and has manic gear ratios that allow you to climb vertical cliffs. It’s world apart from the old road bike, which has sadly been collecting dust for some time. Call me a cowardy-custard but busy Edinburgh roads just scare the Bejesus out of me. At least with the new bike I can use footpaths, avoid roads and annoy pedestrians and dog-walkers by recklessly speeding past.
Anyway, decked out in more lycra than an 80’s heavy metal band, I’ve spent the last few weekends contributing to path erosion and generally having a blast careering around the hills. By the end of a ten mile trip the bike and I have doubled our combined weight with mud. And I’ve only fallen off painfully twice – bonus!
The things that have made it diabetically-possible (or at least easier) are a frame bag filled with emergency sweeties, low temporary basals on the pump and an Android app for my phone (Endomondo – others are available) which tracks where I go and cleverly shows me how fast I’ve gone, how many calories I’ve consumed and so on (Check out my latest trip here: http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/108175865). This app seems to make a good ride hugely satisfying – knowing where you’ve been fast / slow / lazy / hyper-fit is, to me at least, really interesting.
As a result I’ve had great fun, felt a lot better and feel fitter already. So, I guess, it’s just all about finding the right exercise for you rather than slogging away miserably in a gym. So there!