Of Bike Riding, Power Cleans and Festivals
Every time I turn around there seems to be another festival in Bend. This past weekend was Summer Fest, the weekend before was 4th of July festivities and the weekend before that was Bite of Bend. I think most Bendites flee on the weekends to escape the tourists and crowds that come in, but it can be enjoyable to go and people watch. I didn’t spend much time at the Summer Fest due to helping one of my roommates pack and get ready to drive back to Chicago before departing for the Marshall Islands. Big move to say the least. It’s also no fun to go to festivals by yourself. You can get good food and enjoy some music, but it’s hard to be there for too long without people to hang out with.
Anyway, back to the point of this blog, namely the bike riding and power cleans. I have been pretty busy between work and working out, which combined with a disappearing internet connection (what the illicit network in the front yard no longer works?) means I haven’t had much time to write.
I joined up with the beginners road ride that one of the local bike shops puts on every other week, and we went for a leisurely 35-mile ride. Needless to say, it was awesome. I would have liked to go much faster, but had to stay with the pack. I did get some good tips from one of the employees who went on the ride, and I’m looking forward to doing some more. I’m not quite sure when this will happen, but it will happen. I am planning on getting into road riding in the next phase of my life, especially when rowing won’t consume 20 hours a week (though hopefully it will still consume some). I did figure out why people wear bike shorts though. I need to get myself some of those.
Despite my busy schedule, I’ve still been going to Cross Fit pretty faithfully, and even though I still feel extremely weak in comparison to a lot of the other people who work out there, I am noticing some substantial differences in my strength. Also, Olympic lifting is really fun. I’ve learned how to do (real) deadlifts, power cleans, overhead squats and some other nifty lifts. I skipped cross fit on Monday in favor of an Ugly Betty marathon (everyone has their weak moments), but returned today for several lovely rounds of squats. The good news is that they weren’t as difficult as the last time I had to do squats, but 200 is still a lot. But strength building is fun. I also deadlifted 200 lb, which I am very happy about. I looked up strength standards, and that cleanly puts me in the intermediate category for women.
I’m still amazed by how little time I have to do everything I want to do. I’ve been working tirelessly on my Marshall Scholarship personal statement, but it’s still not done, and there’s three other essays to write for that application alone. I get to go to cross fit usually, but I can’t go for a bike ride as well, or also cook dinner, or come to my trusty tea house and use the internet. One thing always has to take precedence. I suppose it would be easier if I had internet at home, for example, but it is unfortunate that work leaves so little time for the rest of your life. Don’t get me wrong, I do like my job, but I also like spending time outside in the sunshine, working out for several hours a day, trying new recipes, reading a book, taking pictures and getting my applications done.
Sometimes work can combine with some of these other things, like yesterday when I had to make a site visit up in a little town about 50 miles north of Bend called Madras. Madras is a town of about 6,000 people with not much in it other than the fairgrounds. But those fairgrounds are now getting a multi-use path, and that requires a transportation firm. So I drove up to Madras yesterday afternoon and proceeded to measure the distance of signs from the edge striping and stop bars, and walked along the future path taking continual pictures as I went. Most of those aren’t very exciting, but I brought my new toy, and took some of my own (I will post when I have internet and the memory card in the same place).
The rest of this week is preparations both at work and at home in anticipation of my trip to Baltimore. I fly out Friday morning and return to Bend the following Saturday. It should be a packed week of fun, work and exhaustion. I might be able to row while I am in Baltimore though, which would be incredible. I really miss rowing and kayaking does not suffice. Too much arms, not enough power. The plane rides should lend itself nicely to blog writing, so expect some more ramblings later in the week.