There are lots of riders out there who are in shape. They may have been in shape on January 1 and didn't need any New Year resolutions to remind them to get in the miles and watch the calories. There are others who have indeed watched their calories and gotten in the miles and have already reaped the rewards of being shape. One buddy, the inimitable and ever-young P.M., was the first rider across the line at the region's toughest race - Ronde Von Palouse, which was a big-time indicator of the miles he has ridden every year, but particularly in the first few months of this year. For others, yes me, it has been a painfully, long slow process to gain any fitness this year.
No, to be clear, I am not saying that I am "in" shape. I am just saying that I am somewhere on the continuum between horribly fat and out of shape and not. And, for the first time in 2011, it seems like I am making some progress to the better end of that continuum.
There are lots of excuses. My favorites include a March that had twice as much rain fall as the average, the latest ever that Spokane has hit 60 degrees, a work schedule that involved a couple of large, one-time projects, and continued commitments to home and family. I also was hit with a long-term case of sluggishness and low-level malaise. I wish it had an actual medical cause, but it was just too little sleep, too much on the calendar and a resulting lack of exercise.
Finally, however, I seem to have strung together enough miles, enough days in a week and month, and I guess enough sleep and sunshine to go along with it, to feel like I have the ability to turn the pedals around with a modicum of fitness. I won't be kissing any podium girls soon or having my "after" picture taken for a fitness fad product, but I will have a bit more confidence when I show up for a group ride that I might live through it.
And that, as Martha says, is a good thing.