Self-Care: Get good exercise, preferably standing up

(I am writing along with Laura Lynn Brown’s summer blogging project at Join us?)

My favorite exercise, which I only do once a week, is performed while sitting down. It’s climbing on my bicycle and taking off down a one-lane country road. I live in the cycling capital of Texas. People pay money to ride our roads; I get to do it for free.

I have routes for every wind direction, in a variety of mileages. Early Sunday morning is my favorite time to ride because there are even fewer cars than usual, and in the summer I can take a three-hour ride and still make the late service at church. (Or go on Saturday night.)

John rides several times a week. Sometimes we get in the car and scout out new bike routes: “That one would be better counterclockwise, if the wind’s out of the north,” or “Oh, man. That’s a hill,” and “Gosh. Look at that.”

There’s so much “that” to see — wildflowers, wildlife, ponds that ebb and flow depending on how much rain we’ve had. The road with the ranchitas and the mini-mansions. The road where all the houses look like they haven’t been updated in 40 years. The oldest church in the county. The curve on Cherry Mountain with all the goats. The cattle on Lower Crabapple and at that steep bend on Willow City. Those horses right by the highway. Look, peaches! What, another vineyard? A month ago, I saw three turtles crossing the road in tandem.

Riding clears my head. Sometiems I listen to podcasts, and sometimes I listen to my Andrew Duhon station on Pandora. Sometimes I just think. I pack some of Kristin’s granola balls and fill my CamelBak with SporTea and chill my brain while pushing my legs. (There’s a cycling T-shirt that says, “Shut up, legs!)

When I get home, no matter how hot it is outside, I crave soup, so I usually put some in the rice cooker to warm while I’m out. Either that or oatmeal. Then I take a hot shower, head out to the back patio, and do some good writing.


  1. Nice. I love the turtles.

  2. I was driving those backroads yesterday to pick up at camp! Thought of you the whole drive. Note: I was driving not riding! You inspire me. xo

  3. This is how I feel about running. When all is well, anyway. Not when I’m fighting foot injury and plantar facetious. But I almost have my mojo back. Still working on it.

  4. Good grief, you are ambitious! And talented.