A Note from Fatty: Today’s the last day you can win the Stylus 1030 SW, which is shockproof to 6.6ft, waterproof to 33 ft, crushproof to 220lbs of pressure and freezeproof down to 14 degrees. Jill Homer of Up In Alaska fame is raffling it off as part of Team Fatty. You can win it by donating to the LiveStrong Challenge on Jill’s Fundraising page . Every $5.00 you donate today gets you a raffle ticket toward this camera (as well as a 1GB xD card and carrying case). You might also win an autographed copy of Jill’s new book, Ghost Trails: Journeys Through a Lifetime. Click here to donate.
Another Note from Fatty: Want to win a nice $2000 wheelset? Of course you do. So donate on my LiveStrong Challenge page; every $5.00 you do earns you another chance at any Dura-Ace wheelset you want. Which rocks. Also, if you’re a member of Team Fatty, every $5.00 you have collected on your own donation page gets you a raffle ticket toward this wheelset, as well as toward the Masi Soulville 10.
Recently, I have noticed several things about myself, none of which are important or substantial. Indeed, I reference them here merely for my own amusement, and not out of anything like a growing sense of alarm or panic.
Also, I see each of these changes as coincidental and unrelated. Which is to say, I do not see them as part of an obvious pattern, nor as clear symptoms of any particular circumstance.
I believe I have made myself clear.
With that said, I hereby present Several unrelated items, none of which are symptomatic of anything. At all.
Peculiar Burning Sensation at Top of Stairs
As you are no doubt aware, I live at very high altitude: more than 4,000 feet, in fact, and I believe that by some mathematical methodologies I am allowed to round up to 5,000. Which is practically a mile. So let’s just say I live at an altitude of 5280 feet and leave it at that. Or, perhaps for simplicity’s sake, we should round my home altitude up to 5300′. Yes, that sounds about right.
Anyway, some of you may also be aware that until recently (June, 2006), I lived in Sammamish, Washington, which is altitude best described as “essentially underwater.”
With that huge altitude difference in mind, it’s no surprise that I am noticing some lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and burning in the legs when I climb a set of stairs here. In fact, I have to be careful, because I don’t want to give myself a high altitude pulmonary edema.
Which is why I have recently started taking the elevator to my fourth-floor office at work.
What’s peculiar is that until recently, I didn’t notice any of these effects. My theory is that sometimes high altitude sickness can take a while (2.5 years, in my case) to manifest itself.
I’m just glad I caught it before it’s too late.
Certain Articles of Clothing Have Become Unattractive to Me
I hate the way cotton shrinks, don’t you? And what’s weird is I have these jeans that are more than two years old. You would think they’d have done any shrinking they’re going to do by now. But no. I must have washed them (along with my other clothes) in extra hot water and then dried them extra double-hot a few times in a row, because these pants have become uncomfortably tight. Sure, if I spend a few minutes hand-stretching them before putting them on they’re OK, but still.
These things are supposed to be loose-fitting. It says so right on the tag. I should complain to the manufacturer. Does anyone have Michael Ball’s email address?
Uncomfortable Sensation When In the Drops
I have never been a big fan of riding in the drops on my road bike. Lately, though, it has occurred to me that riding in the drops is childish. I’m not in a wind tunnel, for crying out loud.
Furthermore, it lately occurs to me that riding in the drops is extremely uncomfortable. Thanks to my very large ribcage and massive lung capacity, it is not uncommon to have my knees mash into my stomach when I ride in the drops.
I am positive this is not a new phenomenon, so it is surprising to me that I am just starting to notice it now. I think this is very likely similar to the way that you don’t notice a shoe is rubbing your heel until you have been running for several miles.
My Cycling Clothing Seems to Be Defective
I really don’t know why I ever liked my size Medium bibshorts. The entire lot of them are ridiculous. I am so glad that, a few years ago when I was overweight, I had the foresight to also purchase some size Large bibshorts. They look much better.
And it’s really starting to bother me the way Twin Six has started mis-sizing all their jerseys. It used to be that a Medium fit me pretty well. Lately though, even their Larges have been tight. Hey Twin Six, quit screwing around with your jersey sizing!
Scales: Not to Be Trusted, Nor Used
Lately, I have decided that the scale is not a valid way of determining my leanness or fitness. Consider: if I were to start an intensive weightlifting program, I would likely lose fat — not that I have much to lose — and gain muscle. What would the scale tell me about this positive change? Merely that I have gained weight!
(Note: I have not actually started a weightlifting program, but this is still a valid hypothetical argument.)
Furthermore, I have noticed — in times past — that when I stop training, I usually lose weight, at least for a little while, perhaps from muscle loss, though I am quite muscular even in the worst of times.
In short, the bathroom scale — which I do not in any way fear — is an unreliable way of measuring my progress (or, hypothetically, regress) as an athlete, and I choose not to see what it says.