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Old 07-19-06, 05:32 PM   #1
DnvrFox
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I Don't Get It

Today, at a "senior" picnic, someone razzed off on me to others that "And he rides his bicycle to church" (5 miles - WOW!). He continued, "I couldn't even ride mine around the block." This from a guy 1 year younger than I am.

That was joined by a couple of other folks exclaiming (sort of proudly, I guess) how out of shape they are.

I don't get it. Are they proud they can't ride their bike around the block and are totally out of shape? I lead bicycle rides every Monday just to help folks get in shape, and these yo-yo's never take me up on it, no matter how easy the ride is. I am confused and a bit frustrated. What's the psychology going on here?
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Old 07-19-06, 05:47 PM   #2
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I've had similar experiences, albeit usually just one person at a time. A couple of days ago, one of my wife's friend said she had driven up to a nearby lake. "Wow. What a hill, even in a car. Just thinking about even riding around the lake kills me." My wife said, "My husband loves that ride." Gotta love her.
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Old 07-19-06, 05:51 PM   #3
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Sorry, I can't help Dfox, I've never run into anything like that. I don't get it either. I would guess they are jeolous and are trying to compensate for their inabilities by making those comments. But that's just a guess.
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Old 07-19-06, 05:59 PM   #4
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I would guess they are jeolous and are trying to compensate for their inabilities by making those comments.
+1
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Old 07-19-06, 06:38 PM   #5
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Fox,

Some years ago, I used to get razzed mercilessly about riding my bike to work. Then, strangely, over a period of a yerar or so, four or five people sought my advice about getting started in cycling. People are funny. You may be more of a positive role model than you realize.
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Old 07-19-06, 06:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by roccobike
Sorry, I can't help Dfox, I've never run into anything like that. I don't get it either. I would guess they are jeolous and are trying to compensate for their inabilities by making those comments. But that's just a guess.
+1, too. I also wonder if being fifty-sixty flabby makes them feel "normal".... like they really belong to their peer group, they really match up with what is expected of them. Maybe they view lycra-clad cyclists at our age level as undignified, unnatural geeks....not behaving in the predictable, patterned way.
Hard for me, too, to imagine some recliner-bound person not being a little envious of the freedom and self-assertion and boundary breaking of that white haired (or no-haired) guy climbing that hill on bike. So, back to Rocco's "jealosy" thing. I mean, like, how much TV can a person watch and not want to get out and do some real life in the real world?
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Old 07-19-06, 06:59 PM   #7
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I've owned fitness centers for the past eighteen years and I can tell you that folks who are regular participants in any form of exercise are the exception and not the norm. I think we all know that. I know tons of folks half my age that couldn't do one fifth of what I do. I'm not bragging, it's just that they have no desire or motivation to move other than from the table, to the sofa, to the bed, to the car...etc. It's basically like anything else. It may be a cliche, but you really have to WANT it...whatever IT is in order to make it happen. I still remember my high school football coach yelling that in our faces. Turns out he was right after all! (was cursing him, under my breath at the time..)
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Old 07-19-06, 07:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CrossChain
+1, too. I also wonder if being fifty-sixty flabby
OKAY, but I am 66 and the razzer guy is 65. But, the principle is still the same!

Don't get me wrong, this guy is one of our "XY Zingers" and is a hard worker in other aspects of his life. (He designs web pages on a contract basis) - which makes it even harder for me to figure out!
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Old 07-19-06, 07:13 PM   #9
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I think part of it is a disconnect... people forget that getting good at any activity doesn't just happen. They see 5 or 6 miles as an insurmountable distance, but don't realize that it is a perfectly reasonable mileage to build up to and surpass.

When I was in Weight Watchers, where many of the people were active in gyms etc, it still astounded them the first time I rode the 6 mile trip to the meeting on my bike. Then I started taking an extra long route along the San Francisco bay and rode 14 or 16 miles, with another 6 miles to get home... When I rode a metric century, there was pure astonishment.

This was from people of all ages, all trying to get their health issues back on track...

It answered their astonishment somewhat when I let them know that I had found an activity I love, and it makes it easy to follow through and get better at it. And I also let them know that my first ride around the block kicked my butt.
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Old 07-19-06, 07:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CrossChain
Maybe they view lycra-clad cyclists at our age level as undignified, unnatural geeks....not behaving in the predictable, patterned way.
+1
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Old 07-19-06, 07:21 PM   #11
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Is it perhaps that he was in awe of you as opposed to razzing you? Perhaps I misinterpreted your post.
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Old 07-19-06, 07:27 PM   #12
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When I first started riding years ago, I had just switched from running. I still had running-distances in mind. I would warm up for a few blocks...then sprint off like a crazed hummingbird, come back totally blown out after 8 miles and think I was hot stuff! When not in car miles, people think in terms of foot miles. I did. They don't realize how bike miles tick off, and how you condition your perception along with your body to think 60 miles is a great weekend ride, more miles is just more conditioning, and 10, unless for an errand or a nice bike-walk after dinner, can leave one unsatisfied....cyclis interruptis.

Father, do not blame them, for they are just untaught.
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Old 07-19-06, 07:37 PM   #13
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I think they were laughing it off cause they are embarrassed. If you make a joke out of it then no one will expect [B]you[B] to do it. I think Blackberry is right, but I also think that since you heard it you were meant to hear it. In other words he wanted you to talk to him about helping him get started.
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Old 07-19-06, 07:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikerJoeP
Is it perhaps that he was in awe of you as opposed to razzing you? Perhaps I misinterpreted your post.
I think there is likely some respect - although I doubt anyone is in awe of me!

I just don't understand someone not internally feeling a need to get in some sort of reasonable shape.

Another thing has occurred to me. This guy recently moved from another state - I think in the south, and I gather that there is not a cultural "fitness" esthetic there as predominates in Colorado. Perhaps ???
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Old 07-19-06, 07:55 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=DnvrFox]I think there is likely some respect - although I doubt anyone is in awe of me!

I just don't understand someone not internally feeling a need to get in some sort of reasonable shape.

Another thing has occurred to me. This guy recently moved from another state - I think in the south, and I gather that there is not a cultural "fitness" esthetic there as predominates in Colorado. Perhaps ???[/QUOTE

I totally agree with your second sentence!! I also agree that Colorado is a fitness conscious state. However, I think the fitness ethos is alive and well in the South too
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Old 07-19-06, 07:56 PM   #16
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I dunno, Fox! I get this all the time too, and from people as young as in their 20's! I don't understand the psychology of it. Having been in a medical practice for 40 years, though, I have seen more and more that people don't care about taking care of themselves, depending on the magic pill or medical gee whiz crap to fix em up when things malfuntion. (Then scream about the bill!) I get tired and cynical of all the "infomercials" and "breakthroughs" that the public is constantly bombarded with regarding healthcare. I suppose people actually believe that crap!
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Old 07-19-06, 08:11 PM   #17
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Sorry you had to experience attacks on something for which you clearly have a passion. I suspect you were dealing with a group of people who were simply tying to maintain their own self-esteem, albiet at your expense. My experience with situations like this has always led me to believe that many people, regardless of age, have a stong need to belong and feel secure within a group somewhere. If you are the individual who differs, you are the most likely target for comments made to boost their own sense of importance. There's a good chance that the cycling part was not even a real issue. I remember my father played pinochle with a group of guys every day after work. Every now and again a new guy would come along and ask if they played poker. When this happened the comments would start to fly, "Poker's a game for people not smart enough to play a real card game", or, "We used to play poker, but gave it up when we were 12." Now, individually none of these guys were mean or nasty people. But at times the need to feel superior was mighty strong for them. So, I don't think this was about you, cycling, or fitness. I think it was about them and their need to feel some sense of importance.
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Old 07-19-06, 08:21 PM   #18
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This is difficult to explain, I guess.

It really wasn't an attack, it was razzing, by which I mean it was joking with a point to be made. Sort of a pushy joking, I guess. The subtleties of language are almost impossible to corrrectly express on the internet!

Anyway, thanks for all the responses. I will take one suggestion - I will see this guy tomorrow, and will ask him if he would like to go for a short, fun ride with me. I will be curious as to what he says!
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Old 07-19-06, 09:03 PM   #19
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I have seen this phenomenon and I think that they truly don't get it. They do understand miles. Unless they actually get interested they have no idea of the meaning of e.g. 85% of max heart rate for an hour. Many people believe that walking a mile is an accomplishment.

Remember, in the '70s on Saturday Night Live (when it was funny) there was a skit with (I think) Gilda Radner playing a 50 year old in a geriatric community telling everyone "I'm fifty and I can kick!!". There really is that population among us who she was making fun of and I am certainly part of that. My competitiveness and arrogance (which I don't think show up elsewhere) manifested in my determination to only be passed by people less than half my age are certainly what she was going after.

I make fun of everything and sometimes annoy people. Perhaps he was acting like the same jerk that I act like.
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Old 07-19-06, 11:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Today, at a "senior" picnic, someone razzed off on me to others that "And he rides his bicycle to church" (5 miles - WOW!). ...SNIP...
That was joined by a couple of other folks exclaiming (sort of proudly, I guess) how out of shape they are.
...SNIP...
I don't get it. Are they proud they can't ride their bike around the block and are totally out of shape? I lead bicycle rides every Monday just to help folks get in shape, and these yo-yo's never take me up on it, no matter how easy the ride is. I am confused and a bit frustrated. What's the psychology going on here?
in addition to what the others have said, the fact is you are an alien.
so foreign to them that you might as well come from another galaxy.
The difference is about as far apart as it gets, the schism is wide.
Fundamental is that 'health' to many people is not a pro-active process. 'Health' is that brief period when something doesn't go wrong. To many its not an ongoing process of properly fueling, caring for and actively creating enough stress to make the body go thru its amazing acts of adaptation.
To many, health is not in their control, its left to chance and what 'doctors' think will be best.
A stilted and misunderstood view also exists of devotees of other healthful activities like hiking, running, swiming, etc; not just cycling.
The fact that people are accomplished in other things (webdesign for example) doesn't mean they can make the shift to understanding that same process when it comes to personal health and physical joy. Without understanding, you're just an alien, and the easiest way to deflect the alien difference is with nervous humor.
Some of these people do make it over to the other side. Often its due to some cathartic event or realization. These are the ones who eventually find themselves on your side of the river, maybe coming along on your intro fun rides.
You'll remain an alien to many, but being out there and always available means you'll be available, understood and a friendly face when any of them make their way to your side of the river.
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Old 07-20-06, 01:17 AM   #21
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Fundamental is that 'health' to many people is not a pro-active process. 'Health' is that brief period when something doesn't go wrong. To many its not an ongoing process of properly fueling, caring for and actively creating enough stress to make the body go thru its amazing acts of adaptation.
To many, health is not in their control, its left to chance and what 'doctors' think will be best.
Right on the money...
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Old 07-20-06, 03:38 AM   #22
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(Fundamental is that 'health' to many people is not a pro-active process.)

Couldn't agree more. Being in the South, having lost 90lbs since January and as of today 54 I get the question all the time. How did you do it? My reply is the old fashioned way. Up @ 0230 starting the day with a 4.5 mile walk, off to work, for lunch twice a week I go to the gym for an hour and after work I do laps with my trike @ 16 to 21 mph for 1 hour on a 2.5 mile loop and eating healthy. I always get the reply of "O" thats too hard and not for me. Most people want the magic pill or elixer to make it all better.
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Old 07-20-06, 03:57 AM   #23
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When I rode a metric century, there was pure astonishment.

You were still at weight watchers when you were riding metric centuries?
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Old 07-20-06, 04:06 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Another thing has occurred to me. This guy recently moved from another state - I think in the south, and I gather that there is not a cultural "fitness" esthetic there as predominates in Colorado.
Denver,

Regional bias and prejudice is just that, bias and prejudice. You can't categorize a whole region based on the feedback, razzing, or unappreciative comments, from one individual.

Your experience with Mr. Razzy probably, (as was already expressed very well by others), comes from his own feelings of inadequacy when he considers your biking abilities. I believe Mr. Razzy is in effect reaching out to find that tiny mustard seed of possibility, and you know what that seed can grow in to. He knows he needs to do something about his fitness and well-being. Biking might be the answer. You are a witness to that. You don't need to say anything. Smile at his comments. You never know when you might see him along one of your fabled bike paths.

I had this experience yesterday, when I had the good fortune to spot a 70+ parishioner ridding up the road towards me. I immediately pulled over and got out to chat. Bill came over to say, "Thank you."

You are doing the right thing, especially with those church group rides. You are part of what makes, "that great cloud of witnesses."
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Old 07-20-06, 04:49 AM   #25
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No doubt Pastorbob is right. But there do seem to be some interesting regional variations on obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Denver, you live in the state with the fewest fat people in America.
http://www.unitedhealthfoundation.or...s/obesity.html
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