You mean I can’t just sit and drink wine every night and be thin in my 40’s? That’s just not right.

So I found a hobby to get active and lose some of this “wine weight”. Running. I felt like “Forrest Gump”. Seriously, I just went for a run one day at age 40. I made some lifelong friends in my local running club, I trained and ran a marathon. But now I have a brand new shiny knee and I can’t run anymore. Thank you to the genetics of craptastic knees. Now what do I do? Drink more wine? I recently read an article that said that one glass of red wine was the equivalent to one hour at the gym. I tested that theory, but I thought I’d drink 2 glasses of wine every night. Two hours at the gym…Yeah, no.

Swimming? Eh, it’s ok. But to take off my eye make up every time I go for a swim just seems like too much work. I’m lazy like that. I sleep with my make up on at night. Plus, I’m a social person. You can’t really chat and carry on a conversation with your friend in the lane next to you in between breaths. Alone time, that’s good for a swim.

Cycling. Hmmm. It’s like riding a bike, right? From my perspective, it’s what runners do when they can’t run anymore. But is it social? Is it fun? Can you get all your gossip and family issues out in a ride and not die? Is it the same comrodery as running? I need to balance out the wine intake, heal the new knee and get out of the funk of sitting on my bum while gaining wine weight. Knee Doc said, “Be a cyclist. No more running.” That’s debatable. But for now, I’ll focus on the cycling.

Cycling has opened up a whole new world. It’s so different from running, yet so much alike. What I love the most is that it is like running. Anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re fast or slow. You get out there. You find friends with the same passion as you and you do it together. You have friends that are experienced and who are willing to teach you the “rules of the road”, the etiquette and the ins and outs. You can ride as fast or as slow as you want. You can chat and gossip along the ride. You can push your friends when you know they need pushing and they will push you right back. Up that hill and into that wind. Or you go alone to clear your head and be alone with your thoughts. But what has been the most fun is to pay it forward to the newbies as I once was. To find a love for something new and different at the ripe or prime age of XX is pretty cool. 

Whatever you do, find a way to burn that wine off and have a great time doing it with friends in an active way. You don’t have to be fast if you are running or cycling. It could be your first time on a bike in years. It doesn’t matter if you have the most expensive running shoes or newest or most aerodynamic bicycle. A dear friend once said, “If your legs work, then you can run.” I think the same goes with cycling. If your legs work, then you can cycle. Just get out there and do it. You’ll be glad you did.

For the record, one 5 oz glass of Merlot is 123 calories. Tonight I cycled for 50 minutes and burned about 460 calories…CHEERS!

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Jennifer Johnson

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, now transplanted in Cypress, Texas. I'm a Wife, Mom of 3 teenagers, Elementary Art Teacher, former runner, turned cyclist. With every activity I do, I always wear lipstick and pearls. I may not be fast, but I'm going to look good at whatever I'm doing!