Altering Habits

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2007-06-13, 1:52 p.m.

Day 1024

Whoa. Sorry about the size of those pics in the last post. Forgot I really need to turn down the sampling size in order to get them to fit nice. Ever see an odometer quite that close?

To all those that have commented Ė Thanks loads! That 365 day wait till the next 100 mile ride? Totally unreasonable. Looking up local biking clubs to see whatís out there. This could grow to be pretty fun.

In spite of the snug fit and the second skin look, those bike shorts seemed to help. Thereís added padding in all the strategic areas, the fabric wicks moisture (i.e. sweat Ė by the gallon) away from your skin very nicely, and really, black goes with everything, donít you think? Just got to figure out what to do about those pesky brief lines.

I went to the Y this morning to try and get in something resembling a normal workout. Being a non-spinning day, I was of course, late. Running could only hold my interest for 2 miles, then I did a very abbreviated trip through the nautilus machines. Abbreviated as in only doing the 3 main leg machines. Yeah, sure, whatís my cure for leg cramps? More work.

Think itís also time to call the doc and get checked out for carpal tunnel issues. Ever since Iíve been tooling around on this new bike, Iíve noticed a tingling in my left pinky & ring finger. After Sundayís ride, I noticed I had trouble even spreading shaving cream on this morning. Tying shoe laces? Weird. Canít squeeze or pinch very well with my left hand. Trimmed my fingernails Ė doing the right hand was a real trip. That squeezing motion with the thumb is tough. Not that it hurts Ė it doesnít. Thereís just this weird lack of strength.

This carpal tunnel stuff could be a good reason to switch from the flat handlebars to the drop style handlebars. The numbness/tingly stuff is definitely related to riding the new bike. The hand position stinks. Even padded gloves didnít help any. Maybe adding those rocker bar thingyís will help. Theyíre meant to be mounted on the end of the flat bars and are used as an extra grip position on mountain bikes I think. I just want to change wrist position for the 99% of the time when I donít need to be shifting or using brakes. What Iím worried about is the doc advising me to quit what ever it is that caused the problem. Weíre going to have to negotiate a middle ground because I hate the thought of giving up that kind of cardio workout.

Biiiiig anniversary meeting tonight for my new home Al Anon group. Iíll need to be there earlier than normal. This will go over really well. Zach is warned, Iíll let Eric know, then I really need to tell Cindy too. Donít know which she dislikes more Ė the fact that I go to these meetings, or the fact that I go and never tell her directly when & where Iím going. I mean, she knows, but I donít just stand there and say ďGee honey, Iím off to that group therapy session where Iím trying to get over how youíre screwing up my life with your excessive drinking. Iíll be back in a couple hours. Buh-bye.Ē Iím thiunking that wouldnít go over so well either.

Later Ė like another whole day later Ė

Nope Ė telling her didnít go over so well. I didnít go by the direct route, I just mentioned that I had to leave for my usual meeting a little earlier than normal tonight. Cindyís reaction was basically done in two parts. Maybe three. First, she didnít say another word to me the rest of the night. Second, she made another drink. Third, she never bothered to eat dinner with the rest of us, preferring instead to do dishes. Donít know when of if she ever had dinner. Guess that was my punishment.

She was obviously very hurt & upset by my declaring I was going (can I get a díuh!?). After talking things over with some folks, Iím going to sit Cindy down again and have that little chat. To avoid having this chat fit in with the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over & over, expecting a different result), Iím preparing a, hmmmmm, missive? - tract? - speech? In essence, a prepared essay, which I will read if need be. It will have been drafted, edited, reread, edited again, lather, rinse, repeat Ė until it is of a form that explains the current situation in terms of my own reactions, my own problems, what I am going to do to correct ME and what boundaries I am going to establish and protect.

Iím sure Iíll start out with a pile of vile, vituperative verbiage that makes little sense. But that will provide the framework around which I will build this whole freakin speech. Somehow, I need to NOT blame Cindy, NOT make it all about her drinking, NOT make it seem like if she quit everything would be better. Because it wonít. Not with out a ton of work on both our parts. I know that, but she needs to learn it. She needs to get into AA with out me forcing the issue. If she doesnít, or doesnít want to? Well, that could eventually be a deal breaker. Anyone looking for a separated 48 yr old engineer, in decent shape, with a little baggage and a bike?

Last Sunday, after I got home from the diabetes ride, she was having one of those touchy, feely moments, lamenting what has happened to our relationship. Weíre sitting out back on the patio Ė sheís slurring along, wondering where things changed while nursing (chugging) her third or fourth 20oz highball of the afternoon.

My tongue still hurts from being bitten so hard. I was ŗŖ this close to launching into that stream of vile, vituperative verbiage (favorite phrase today, sorry) thatís sitting front and center in my mind, but held off for several reasons. #1 Ė Due to above normal (off the charts) blood alcohol content, nothing I said to her would have sunk in. #2 - Due to lack of preparation, what I might have said would have cut to the bone. Would have been true, but would have been constructed so as to maximize the damage. Sort of the Gen. Schwartzkopf approach. #3 Ė She may have been drunk, but I was weary to the bone. My legs still hurt from the cramping earlier, my left hand was all tingly from what ever is bothering it, and #4 - She was leaning on my sunburned shoulder.

Now, at least I have a better plan. I can come up with a way to say what I mean, but not say it mean. Put the focus on my part of the problem, my part of the solution. Itís been suggested to have the kids prepare similar essays and gather everyone for a family meeting, sit down and clear the air (or muddy the water). Should I go that route, Iíll exempt Jill from participating. Matter of fact, Iíll do it on a day when sheís at work or school, hopefully the worst will have passed by the time she gets back home. Donít know if I want to go that way though. Smacks of starting an intervention. I tend to not like those because they take the choice away from the addict. They end up faking getting better just to make someone else happy Ė they never own the process. Not good.

Just got a text message from Jill. My Camelbak arrived. Now I gotta go find another long bike ride to do so I can test it out. Lets see, I have a sleeping bag, a small tent, spare tubes & a pump, and 6 weeks vacation saved up. Who has a spare couch? I can cook to earn my keep. Keep in mind though, Iím only good for about 100 miles a day. Let me know which recipes to bring.

Great workout this morning. Spinning - go figure.

I better get to work. My mind wanders so easy these days. . .

Oh Ė our Al Anon anniversary meeting? Had guest speakers. A husband and wife team. He is an AA member, sheís in Al Anon. For the last 24 years. Absolutely fantastic evening. I learned literally a TON from this couple. Theyíre solid as people and as a couple and they worked hard at getting that way.

There is hope.

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