Set Goals & Keep Active: ’cause it’s not all about swearing & vaginas.

Earlier this summer I decided that I wanted to bike from Peterborough to nearby town of Lakefield. It’s not far (16.8 km/one way) and I’ve been biking/running all summer so I figured it would a piece of cake.


This morning I got on my bike and by the time I hit the end of my street (3 houses) my legs were achy. Oh dear.You know those days when your body just will not cooperate. yup.

I debated looping back home, curling up on the couch and trying again another day.

But I’m pretty stubborn.

I hadn’t made it very far (3 km) when I started to wish I’d peed one more time before leaving. My bladder (as my kids will attest) is truly the size of a peanut. Maybe that second cup of coffee was not a good idea after all. But I distracted myself in the beauty of my surroundings. Such a gorgeous path!


I’d previously biked as far as Trent University which is about 1/2 way.  I rejoiced when I hit that spot.

New bike path near Trent!
New bike path near Trent!
Trent - you have a fabulous campus!
Trent – you have a fabulous campus!

I swear (and I swore) that I was on an incline the entire way to Lakefield. The only solace in that thought was that I’d be going downhill all the way home. (wheeeee!!!!)

My friend recently told me that she and her family of four kids recently did a 20km round trip bike ride. Her youngest is only 8 years old and she is now my hero. Apparently on the way they stopped at Canadian Tire for some rope in case they needed to tow her back. (why didn’t I pack any rope??)

By the time I reached the Lakefield sign, I was tired, my legs were sore and my vagina had gone completely numb (honestly – wtf ?!). The bright side in this condition was that I figured I probably couldn’t pee if I tried.

I saw the sign!
I saw the sign!

I biked on into town and landed at my destination (Canoe & Paddle) where my original plan was to celebrate with a cold pint and lunch on the patio before returning home. The only problem was that it was barely 11am. (yes, clearly my ferocious speed was proving to be a hinderance to my plans) Do they even serve beer this early? My stomach was still recovering from such heavy breathing that I wasn’t even hungry & even if they did serve beer this early I wasn’t quite ready to indulge. Well now what?

Sitting down seemed like a good start. So I sat down by the water with my notepad. I wrote a bit and texted my friends to let them know I was still (barely) alive.  I started to wonder how long it would take until my legs seized up so decided to keep moving. I walked around town for a little while until hunger struck. Then made my way back to Canoe and Paddle for that celebratory lunch.

I was not disappointed.

Lunch: salad, 5 paddle beer and ice water
Lunch: salad, 5 paddle beer and ice water

In other good news I was indeed able to relieve myself. (phew!)

I’m not going to lie. There was a moment where I debated just sitting on that patio until 4pm and asking Keith to come pick me up after work.

But did I mention I’m stubborn?

So I sent a quick text to my friends. Asking for them to pray for me and my vag  (who has not sent at least one of these texts in their lives) and started along the path on the way home.

It turns out that I was biking through a strange dimension where you are actually going uphill in BOTH directions. I had thought these were only the urban legends of parents walking to school.

But alas I held my slow (don’t be a hero) pace and plodded on.

I was only mildly embarrassed when everyone else on the path passed me (clearly they had not been biking the distance I had). I focused again on the nature around me. I passed butterflies, cardinals, kamikaze chipmunks (who might have been less kamikaze and more confused by the slow speed and fast cursing) and I passed a turtle.

Yes, I PASSED the turtle. *props

This path goes on .. and on..
This path goes on .. and on..

As much as I thought I was going to die, I still managed to return the smile and greetings of each friendly person who passed (in between silent cursing). Jeepers you are a friendly folk in Peterborough. Anyone want to tow me home?

Needless to say I made it and am not writing this from the side of a bike path waiting for a ride (though that would have made a good story too).

Post bike snack: Justin's honey almond butter..mmmm
Post bike snack: Justin’s honey almond butter..mmmm

Google maps will show you that this stretch should take approximately 1 hour each way. Clearly they did not account for the uphill dimensional world factor. It took me about 1 hour 20 minutes each way. (whatever. I passed the turtle.)

my route
my route

The moral of this story (yes, there is a point here, it’s not all about swearing and vaginas) is to stress the importance of setting goals.

Being retired (or at least temporarily unemployed) and having the kids in school all day leaves me with a lot of free time. And there is a lot going on my life (raise your hand if you can relate) that is completely out of my control.

But this. This was me. This was me saying, I’m going to do something and then actually doing it. Yeah it’s small potatoes but in my new world, it’s something I can cross of my list of things I should do one day.

Next thing I should do: Have a bath. With lots and lots and lots of epsom salts.




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