Uplifting and depressing

Yes, it is possible to be both of those things at the same time.  Last week, I attended the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit.  I sat in on some great breakout sessions.  With over 700 attendees, all bicycling enthusiasts, from across the country, the summit filled the air in D.C. with energy and passion for all things bicycle.  On Thursday, we stormed Capitol Hill to get our representatives and senators on board with bills that support bicycling (and active transportation, livable communities, and all things beautiful and good).  And who wouldn’t want to cosponsor something named the ACT Act (H.R. 4722)?

The down side?  The constant reminder that I am not currently a bike commuter. At the moment, I’m a former bike commuter, a wannabe bike commuter.  As we look toward spring and really ideal bike commuting weather, this gets harder and harder to take.  I struggle more and more with the question of whether or not it was worth the trade-off — my beautiful bike commute for a job that better fit my interests.

Some kind of platitude seems appropriate here: “Live and learn,” or “This, too, shall pass.”  Or something . . . .

To end on a better note, People for Bikes makes my heart happy.  Go to the site, watch the video, and sign the pledge.

Couch potato confessions

Since the beginning of September, I have spent my Saturday afternoons engaged in an unusual pursuit: watching commercial television.  TV does not fit into my active lifestyle.  Or my green lifestyle, for that matter.  The [small, older] TV, DVD player, converter box (purchased begrudgingly, as the lesser of two evils — the greater being buying a new TV), and VCR are plugged into a power strip that spends most of its time in the “Off” position, to avoid vampire power draw.  But on Saturday afternoons, I flip the switch to “On” and settle in for a few hours to watch my team, the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

“Settle in” is actually misleading because I resemble a Mexican jumping bean much more than a couch potato.  Every commercial, I pop up to do one thing or another.  One game I chopped the tomatoes to make our canned tomato sauce.  Another game I prepared fresh basil for freezing.  I think I get as much exercise as the football players sometimes, minus the people running into me and throwing me to the ground.  I also have yet to develop turf toe or break my collarbone while working with tomatoes or basil, but you never know.

“Settle in” is also a misnomer for the games so far this season, which have been anything but relaxing.  Do we have to have dramatic, nail biter finishes every week?  All I have to say is, if I have a heart attack before the age of thirty, it’s all their fault.