Tuesday, April 1, 2014

9:05 PM
There was a moment today where I stood in the parking garage at my office, staring out at the slanting rain and wondering why in the world I was willingly choosing to ride 25 minutes home through the downpour. After work. Without a raincoat.

And then I took a deep breath and pedaled out into the storm.

That's the thing about a Fitness Project. When you tell yourself you are going to spend the month of April riding your bike as much as you can, you go out and ride. Even if it is raining cats and dogs for the first time in months here in drought-parched California. Even if you had to drag your road bike out of storage and pay an ungodly amount of money to have the bike tuned up so it would be rideable again after years of child-induced neglect (funny you had forgotten that it still had time trial handle bars on it - a relic of an athletic past). Even if you had to cancel a coveted freebie date night at your gym in order to execute a family bike trip that simply could not be squeezed in any other time. Even if...

And then there is the dietary focus part. I was supposed to go vegan last month. I dutifully read VB6, and started out strong (soy cheese and veggie soup anyone?). However, I am ashamed to admit that it ended up being a total and complete failure. It turns out that being vegan requires discipline and planning and TIME. Last month I was juggling a day care crisis, a busy work schedule, travel, sickness and a host of other issues. I let go of everything that was an unnecessary stressor so that I could focus on the critical things that mattered. It turned out that I had no extra energy to deal with trying to be vegan, so I let that go. That is OK, but I am going to try to pick it up again this month. Except for today when I completely forgot and ate a salad that was garnished with a grated, hard cheese. IT IS SO HARD TO BE A VIGILANT VEGAN!!!

I am pleased to say that, despite the mini-setbacks (mostly cheese and latte-related) and the soggy pants (just today), I am still enjoying the Fitness Project. Every single day I have a mission, and it is motivating me to do things and see people that too easily fall into the I am too busy to... catch all. Last month as part of my climbing month I managed two day-long climbing trips - more than I have done in any of the previous five years. This month I will do a weekend family bike trip - something I have been wanting to do for years, as well as spend some time on my favorite mountain bike trails.

Some people (OK, my parents) think I am crazy to be doing this Fitness Project on top of everything else. Certainly my husband was insisting that I take a cab home tonight, although he ended our conversation in a defeated voice you're not gonna take a cab, are you?. But as the rain stopped and I pedaled home along the reservoir - the trail all to myself, the lake glistening silver, the trees and earth dripping, heavy and wet - I felt amazing. Getting wet was a small price to pay for getting to experience this fresh, bountiful world for a few minutes all to myself. The same can be said for many experiences, big and small that I have had so far this year as part of this Fitness Project. You get out what you put into something, and often even more.

To learn more about my Fitness Project, please contact me at mommytasker@gmail.com, MommyTasker.com, or connect with me on Facebook.


  1. Sounds great! Although I admire your project, I am pretty sure I wouldn't be able to keep up with it myself.

    I want to tell you about Jeff Novick who has great formulas (too simple to even call them recipes) for super easy vegan meals. I actually spend less time in the kitchen since becoming vegan, thanks to him. The easiest formula is frozen veggies + tomatoes + beans + no-salt seasoning served over a quick-cooking grain (buckwheat, whole-grain pasta, and quinoa all cook in 10 mins). You can vary this endlessly for a mexican night, italian night, cajun night, carribean night, etc. just by varying the vegs, beans, and using a simple pre-made spice blends. Frozen veggies are actually healthier than fresh in many cases because they are flash frozen immediately after picking, compared to fresh veggies which often sit for days or weeks before we eat them (before they even make it to the store). If you stock your freezer with frozen veggie blends and your pantry with grains, beans, tomatoes, and spices, you can have dinner ready in 10 minutes with no forethought and no chopping -- for us this is easier than going out or even than warming up some convenience foods. All his recipes are salt and oil-free and optionally gluten-free, but surprisingly good.