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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-09-09, 08:41 AM   #1
artimus
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The First Step.......

Everything begins with that first step. For me, it has been just to cross the doorway.

In March, I was seriously ill by mental illness (PTSD, depression). I was hospitalized (and formed), the whole nine yards for 2 weeks. As I was recovering, the weather turned for the better, and all I could think of, and was looking forward too, was to incorporate cycling into my recovery plan. I even went so far as to join a club to start riding with other people. The meds that I'm on are real weight gainers, so tons of riding was on the horizon to keep my weight down. Due to the work that I do(tool & die maker), plus just the overall state that I was in, I was on sick leave til the 3rd week in April (that now has been extended to the end of May). This gave me time to recover, so that I could return back to work (ASAP). As soon as I got home I went out for a quick spin to see were the body was after the winter off. As I figured, I had weak legs and stiff back. What I wasn't ready for was the total breakdown of my mental processing skills. In the few times that I tried riding over the next bit, I would have close calls with cars. Everything was just a few degrees off of center, but enough for me to fear a serious accident. So, I holed up in my apartment, rarely going out, and gained about 15lbs in no time flat. I only went out as little as possible, and communicated with only my wife. If I was out of the house for any period of time, forget it I was running for the hills. The worst of it was both of my bikes just hung around and just collected dust screaming to be ridden.

And then........
I just thought ride or die. I was already dying slowly inside and heading back to hospital if things didn't change. I would look outside at the most beautiful weather, and couldn't walk out the door to enjoy the sunshine. Mental illness is a very cruel disease. So H3LL or high water, I was going out one way or another. If I did get smoked, it would be doing something I truly love (although the thought of laying busted and broken dying in a farmers ditch isn't very romantic). I also erased the excuse of riding on weak wheels (Bontranger Selects), by picking up set of Mavic Ksyrium Equipes. And then I just did it; I put my stuff on, and walked out the door. I rode the sidewalks from my place to the park (the road sucks first and I wanted that little cushion second), and jumped on the MUP. GOD IT FELT GOOD!! 32 km (20 mi) later I walked in the door feeling more centered then I have in a long time. With the ride under my belt, I immediately started thinking about Friday, and where my two wheels could take me, with the though of increasing the distance. Up and out the door was the plan, but I kept putting it off. Then finally I gave myself that extra little push around 1:00 and headed out. Two hours later and 60 km (37mi) I was home. I was totally spent, I ached all over and I am finally starting to feel at peace again.

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to head out for my first club ride....................






All I have to do is make that first step out the door.


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Old 05-09-09, 09:51 AM   #2
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Good for you! I totally understand how much mental illness impacts your life. Going for treatment was the hardest thing I ever did, it saved my life! Continued therapy has brought me peace, it will come to you too. My therapist is always stressing how inportant excercise is to combat sysmptoms of depression. God made a beautiful world, being part of it is very theraputic.
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Old 05-09-09, 09:58 AM   #3
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God made a beautiful world, being part of it is very theraputic.
Yes, and it's right in front of us:

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Old 05-09-09, 11:18 AM   #4
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Welcome to the herd, Artimus! You fell in with a pretty good bunch here.
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. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant
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Old 05-09-09, 03:12 PM   #5
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Well done artimus. The first little step is the most important. Wish you best of luck with getting out the door tomorrow. Let us know how you get on?
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Old 05-09-09, 03:33 PM   #6
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Thanks for the read Artimus. More importantly, thanks for taking that first step out of the door.
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Old 05-09-09, 04:57 PM   #7
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Yes, and it's right in front of us:

Is that a pedestrian flyover? Looks kinda funny with the grass everywhere Or is it just a bridge over the river. Its huge. Nice picture though
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Old 05-09-09, 07:54 PM   #8
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Is that a pedestrian flyover? Looks kinda funny with the grass everywhere Or is it just a bridge over the river. Its huge. Nice picture though
Salisbury Viaduct outside Meyersdale, PA. It's a former rail bridge crossing the Casselman River. It's restricted to pedestrian and bike traffic. Another view:



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Old 05-09-09, 08:18 PM   #9
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Wow, great news and thumbs up to you. Continue your progress.
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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.
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Old 05-09-09, 08:34 PM   #10
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We all have days where we have to really push to get out the door. Those are the days you return feeling like you really acomplished something. Keep it up and know that you are doing an awesome thing for yourself and your loved ones.
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Old 05-09-09, 09:39 PM   #11
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Salisbury Viaduct
All right: why a duck?
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Old 05-10-09, 01:35 AM   #12
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Keep up the good work. Like the others stated, it is a beautiful world. Nice to be able to get out and enjoy it.
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Old 05-10-09, 07:57 AM   #13
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Thanks to all for the kind words. I've been lurking here for a year and know quite well that this is a great herd.

As it was I missed the club ride this morning. It was just to windy for my liking. As well I found out (thankfully at home), THAT I NEED TIRE IRONS TO GET TIRES OFF MY RIMS!!! Sooooo glad that I havn't had a flat in the middle of no where!!
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Old 05-10-09, 08:01 AM   #14
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Thanks to all for the kind words. I've been lurking here for a year and know quite well that this is a great herd.

As it was I missed the club ride this morning. It was just to windy for my liking. As well I found out (thankfully at home), THAT I NEED TIRE IRONS TO GET TIRES OFF MY RIMS!!! Sooooo glad that I havn't had a flat in the middle of no where!!
If you are in or near SE PA, let's go for a ride.
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Old 05-10-09, 01:43 PM   #15
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This thread (and so many others) is what makes this place GREAT!

Thanks for the motivation!
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Old 05-10-09, 02:45 PM   #16
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Thanks to all for the kind words. I've been lurking here for a year and know quite well that this is a great herd.

As it was I missed the club ride this morning. It was just to windy for my liking. As well I found out (thankfully at home), THAT I NEED TIRE IRONS TO GET TIRES OFF MY RIMS!!! Sooooo glad that I havn't had a flat in the middle of no where!!
Ah pity Plenty of time though to do it again. And you defo need tyre levers for your next ride. I do remember being able to take off some tyres with my bare hands but not lately. Used to pinch the fingers off me

Other things you defo need are a spare tube or a puncture repair kit and a pump. Pump is most important although you can get cans of air these days too. multi-tools are handy too in case you need to tighten something. Fingers crossed you wont need anything but i'd say prepare for a puncture at least. Practice too!
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Old 05-11-09, 07:04 AM   #17
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As far a going for a ride with anyone, if you are in the London, Ont area, let me know.

I have a saddle bag that is loaded with everything except tire irons. I'm on my way to the LBS now to get some. As soon as my wheels are changed over........poof;gone for the day.

The part that really upsets me is, that in the past I would have gone through a dry run at home. For some reason I didn't do that with this tires. Oh well, at least I found out the easy way.
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Old 05-12-09, 03:14 PM   #18
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Bravo artimus! I lost 5+ yrs of my life to the darkness of PTSD. Let the light shine in!
Here are a couple songs that help me when the dark starts to creep in. YMMV

The videos are just the best audio versions of the songs I could find, not picked for the actual video content.



Got to get better in a little while

Life is too short get out and play

Just let go
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