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biking

A lot had happened, dear reader, since the last time I blogged.  (I apologize if you’ve been waiting with baited breath to see what will happen  in the next chapter of my ever-exciting life.)  This week was Diversity Week on campus, and to celebrate, I tried something new:  using the weight room in the Dunham Student Activity Center!

Contrary to its name, there’s actually a lot more stuff inside the weight room than just weights – it’s got exercise bikes, treadmills, a yoga ball, and an elliptical machine for students and faculty to use.  I’m training to ride my bike from Saint Louis to Columbia, MO this summer, so in addition to weekend riding, I’ve been hitting the exercise bike at school, getting there at 7:45 three days a week.

Here’s my reaction to the weight room:  at 7:45, it’s really, really nice and quiet.  Sometimes there are people there, sometimes not.  Either way, it’s an enjoyable experience.  I plug in my headphones so I can listen to music, and sometimes the morning news is on the tv, so I can read the captions (actually, when that happens, and I’m watching tv while listening to music, I feel a little over-technologized and I just pick one to focus on.)

At first, it was a little difficult to figure out how to work the menu on the bike.  I sat down on the seat and poked at the buttons, and nothing happened!  Then, I got off the bike and looked around for a switch I’d maybe forgotten to press, but I couldn’t find anything!  So then, I thought, “Well, I’m sure the bike works with or without the mile-counter, so I might as well start pedaling.”  So, I got back up on the bike, slid my feet under the pedal straps, and pressed my foot down to begin pedaling.  Guess what?  The menu came on with a loud beep, asking me for my age!  After I filled out all the preliminary user info, I chose to bike in “Rolling Hills Mode.”  I didn’t notice much of a tension difference until I made it to the top of the hill on the bike’s display.  It was pretty cool.

I’m glad I have the chance to bike in the mornings now – it’s a really nice start to my day.  If you haven’t been to the weight room, you should definitely check it out!

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It’s spring break! Okay, technically there are only three days of it left, but still. Plus, the fact that we have only a full week of school before we get another break for Easter is preventing me from getting too depressed about the fact that our current break is almost over. Throughout the week I’ve had little moments where I thought, “Wow! It’s so great to be on summer break!” …And then I realized that although the weather made it feel somewhat like the middle of May as opposed to the middle of March, I still have an Organic test this upcoming Thursday and a bunch of major projects to work on for my Foundations in HES class. In other words, I still have six weeks or something like that before I’m home free. *Sigh.* I think I shall begin a countdown for summer as soon as I get back to school.

In other breaking news, today started off as a bad day, but ended up being quite a fantastic day in the end. Why is it that weird sicknesses tend to find you when you’re on break, but never when you want to avoid fire drill day or giving a major presentation at school? Yes, today I woke up with what I thought were major hunger pains in my stomach (you know, like when you wake up in the morning, and you haven’t eaten anything since dinner the night before and you’re so ravenous it kind of hurts a little?), only to find myself on the couch for the next two hours feeling totally nauseous and with little desire to put my morning oatmeal topped with fresh berries, nuts, and the like anywhere near my mouth. (And believe me, this is quite unusual, as oatmeal is what motivates me to get out of bed in the morning.)

Yuck. This is not supposed to happen over break.

I will spare you the details of my upset digestive system and instead simply state that my unhappy alimentary canal led me into deciding that it was probably in my best interest to skip tonight’s Andrew Bird concert at the Pageant and stay home instead.

However! I am happy to say that as of 5:30 this evening, I am now the proud owner of my super late 20th birthday gift: a 2012 Giant Avail 5 entry-level road bike.

BAM.

It’s sleek. It’s super lightweight (22 pounds). It’s aerodynamic. It makes me feel like a real cyclist (okay, not quite yet.). It more than makes up for the fact that I had to eat white bread (hello, no nutritional value!) toast as opposed to whole grain toast today as to avoid upsetting my stomach. If it weren’t dark out right now, I’d probably take it out for another spin. Yes, this gift was well worth the wait, and I can’t wait to bring it to school so I can zip around Clayton on it, pretending to be a real cyclist. I suppose that’s enough motivation to get me back to campus…

Enjoy the rest of your spring break everyone! I know I will…

-Carly

“Sidewalk Safari” by Chairlift

P.S. I love this guy this much more.

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The other day, in a midst of yet another “What crime have I committed to receive this unjust punishment of so much homework?” breakdown, my spirits were slightly raised when my father pointed out  (in a whiny phone call home) that this semester is halfway finished. Yes, we have reached the halfway mark. But just like the fifteen-mile bike ride that I do every Tuesday and Thursday morning after Organic lecture (bike time = me time), things only seem to get rougher from that point on. You’re dehydrated, the same songs on your iPod are boring you instead of making you push harder, and the lactic acid building up in your liver is making your muscles scream, “Get off the bike already so I can synthesize some ATP!”

No matter how tempted you may be at this point to completely give up on striving for a perfect GPA this semester because you’re too tired to finish out this semester as strongly as you started: don’t! When I feel the urge to get off the bike and do an easy ride “just this once”, I cut back on the resistance level instead so I can catch my breath for a minute before coming back. This weekend is your chance to cut back on your intensity level, too: take full advantage of the “Academic Study Day” (a weird title for a fall break, if you ask me) to get yourself together. Then, next week, come back stronger and ready to hit the books once again. After all, soon enough we’ll be cooling down and stretching out, which is pretty much the best feeling ever after you’ve pushed yourself to the limit.

Anyway…have a great week and I hope I didn’t totally alienate you with my lame analogy here.

-Carly

P.S. Oh my goodness. Beirut was amazing at The Pageant last night. I never knew brass instruments could rock out like that!

“Scenic World” by Beirut

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