Posted by: cmittermeier | August 4, 2012

Taking up Mountain Biking… at 40… and out of shape

I am physically exhausted.  If I am to get healthy I will have to do this more often!  Health comes to those who work their bodies, not to those who just give it lip service as I had been doing the last few months.  Today we took more time for our family and we worked our bodies.  We swam in the bay, and we took up a new family sport: mountain biking.

Once before I taken my boys on the Georgian Trail where we found the side trails that were intended more for mountain bikers than fair, fat, forty year old mothers!  That time we stayed only the easy beginning sections, turning back when it was looking more challenging.  Today I had my hubby with us, and though it was humid and the base temperature was cresting 30C (we were in a shady forest though), so we went further.


I am glad I had my regular bike.  It has shocks and though I do notice they help a bit in the city, on the off-road forest trails they make a huge difference.  The second reason I am very glad was that my bike has seal-sealing tires, and in the most difficult section I felt my tire go.  I left the kids with my hubby and road on ahead, the stops and slow downs following the boys was too hard on a slightly deflated tire.

Mountain biking is very different than street biking.  Back when I was a kid I would ride through the woods as I did today, but back then I was fit.  Steering is not something you give much though to – till you are trying to get between several jagged rocks while avoiding trees that seem intent on getting in your gears.  For the first time I felt my arms while riding a bike.  When my back tire went it took even more difficult because the back end of my bike was swerving and sliding more.  Yes, I have a long way to go.

But you know, as hard as it was, there was something exhilarating about it.

I still don’t have an answer to how I will carve the time I need out of my day, but today gave me hope.  I still had to push to get the event to happen, like I said HOPE for the future.   There are still many problems to overcome, this was an easy weekend without a lot of stressful things to make it more difficult.  But, on these easy days I think we found a groove.

The fact that I pushed myself to exertion is another reason for hope.  I know that to build muscle you have to go to this level and I was seriously starting to doubt I still had this in me.  Yes, I worked through a bit of those fears a while back when I used a coach.  I learned how to control my blood sugars and blood pressure well enough to not pass out while working out.  The last time I worked out in a gym I did exactly that, pushed too hard and crashed.  I cancelled my membership shortly after that and have never thought of going back to it.
I learned how to monitor my sugars and have not held back my workouts because of fear. It was only the realization of how much weaker I have become that has me wondering if i still had this feeling in me.

My sister finally admitted that at 47 she is an athlete, today as I rode hard, I joined her once again.  Years ago I was an athlete, I trained, I practiced, I raced… okay, so I didn’t win much, but as the Mom of the Blade Runner says, the only loser is the one who doesn’t try.  I tried today.  I did not lose.

One day at a time, I’ll find solutions for other days later.



  1. Mountain Biking! WOW… I know I’ve been away too long. You go girl. You are my hero! Bridgette

  2. We so think alike! Here is the bike I’m going to reward myself with when I get back in the 200s. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT? I’m in love with it! ALSO… POST A PICTURE OF YOUR BIKE Lady! Bridgette

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