Fitness Tools

Tools are fun to buy, fun to have, and fun to use. When you work toward physical fitness you can spend all your money on fitness equipment if you want to. Some of the stuff you can get is actually useful. Here's my collection:

Cindi's bicycleBicycle: My bike is special. I have an advantage over most people; Ted owned a bicycle shop for many years, during which he built custom bicycle frames, including one for himself and one for me.

The frame was built to fit my long legs and short waist. The bike was assembled to my specifications for everything from handlebar tape to gear ratios.

Why I like it: I have strong fight-or-flight impulses, to which I respond by fleeing because I'm miserable at fighting. A bicycle lets me flee fast and shed anxiety and tension as I go. I used to ride in East Potomac Park before and/or after work occasionally when I was feeling particularly antsy. For me, there is no anxiety that cannot be dispelled by two laps around Hains Point. Of course, any bicycle would do for this purpose; a custom-built bike isn't necessary, but a good bicycle is essential. We've been out of the bicycle business for so long that I won't postulate about what a good bicycle is these days. What I still know, however, is that you won't get a good bicycle at Wal-Mart. Find a shop that specializes in bicycles and start there.

Why it works for living life backward: The cardiovascular fitness benefits of bicycling are well-known. Some people who study these things assert that cardiovascular fitness can reverse the effects of aging. I assert that I have greater stamina, move easier, and enjoy life way more than I ever did as a kid. I know the endorphin high that follows vigorous exercise. It's a feeling of buoyancy and optimism: the sun will always shine, I will achieve everything I set my mind to, and there is enough of everything for everybody in this life--like how I was supposed to feel when I was a child, but didn't because I didn't know how to feel that way. Bicycling was the first thing that ever did that for me.