“That which does not kill us . . .

. . . only makes us stronger.”  This widely known quotation from Friedrich Nietzsche is borne out in many areas of life, including the aftermath to my long ride a few days back chronicled in “Oxygen Deprivation.”  The day after that ride I did not exercise, figuring that my body had some recovering to do.  The next day I rode inside, because it was just too hot to exercise outdoors by the time I was free in the afternoon.  I felt strong and focused, and recorded my best metrics in over a year for the exercise format I used: high stamina, low heart rate, high number of calories burned.(1)

For the last three days I have been cycling in near-perfect weather conditions.  The first day out I did one of my basic routes, to Shirlington, and felt so strong and in command of my energy.  Yesterday I turned in one of my best speeds of the year on the Trek, 16.2 mph average to Herndon via Hunter Station Rd.(2)   Today I rode to a different part of Herndon, to visit my granddaughter, and back along a longer route.  This ride was principally for the miles and the visit, as well as reacquainting myself with Reston Parkway.  In each case the Ashburn ride experience has conditioned me to push to higher states of intensity, to build and sustain more pressure against my cardiovascular and muscle capacities, and to believe I can do so successfully.  Turns out that ride was a real breakthrough.

I am still alive; still getting stronger.

©Arnold J. Bradford, 2010.


(1)  Going downstairs into the basement to exercise on a hot day is like jumping into a tank of cold water.  So refreshing!  Analogously, the wine cellar down there needs no a/c unit.

(2)  My fastest speeds are consistently on the Binachi Squadra, but that’s somewhat mitigated by the fact that I cannot ride it on steep grades, so I never have long stretches of slow going on that bike.  Still, even on comparable routes, it’s quicker.

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