Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm a missionary of cycling

About a year ago in June, I purchased my first road bike. Since then, I've lost about 40 lbs of fat and in reality, probably more like 50 lbs. of fat, since I've most certainly gained some muscle weight. 50 lbs. of fat is approximately the equivalent of 8 of these 6lb., Costco-sized Crisco containers. Glad to have that gone!! I truly feel like a different person now.

By the way, a few months ago we kicked off a competition with a few people at work to see who can lose the highest percentage of body fat by getting a "Bod Pod" test down at the "Y-Be-Fit" office at BYU. The "Bod Pod" tests your body fat % using air displacement. After paying the $15 fee, the technician has you hop into spandex, put on a little cap and then sit inside the Bod Pod capsule that's shaped like a giant egg with a window on it. It only takes about 60 seconds for the test, enough time for the air to pump inside the chamber a couple of times. You then get a printout of the test results. For most people, you'll be surprised at how high your body fat percentage is from this test. I don't remember exactly, but I was over 20% and that was one of the lowest in the group of coworkers that were tested that day. We are going to do the test again, probably next week, so I'm anxious to see how I've improved. You should try it! It's a great and accurate way to measure your fitness gains and a great way to have a weight loss contest.

Anyhow, since I've lost some weight over the last year, I'm frequently being asked "what is your secret?" Of course I tell them about how I started cycling and so on and so forth. I always put in a good plug for cycling and actually encourage them to think about purchasing a bike or if they already have a bike, suggest ways for them to ride more often.

For example, one of my coworkers has a quality mountain bike and I suggested he could easily ride to work on the canal bank road that goes all the way from his house in American Fork to right by our office in Orem. He's now riding to work a couple of times a week and is looking to purchase a road bike too.

My older brother also recently purchased a road bike after I had a chance to offer up my sermon to him on the benefits of riding a bike.

And just yesterday, one of our external financial auditors who hangs out at our offices about 6 months out of the year pulled me aside and asked for some advice on buying a road bike (I thought he was going to ask me a lame theoretical question about accounting fraud, so I was glad when he wanted to talk bikes). I took the next 15-20 minutes explaining to him the different options and proclaiming how great cycling is, including emphasizing how much better it is than running. I'm thinking within 2 weeks he'll be sportin' a new bike too.

There are more examples that I could provide of people I've "testified" to about cycling and later I hear of them buying a bike and riding, but you get the point.

I definitely don't take all the credit for these "conversion" stories, but I've enjoyed seeing people get excited about the sport like I have. Cycling, whether you ride a mountain bike or road bike really is a fantastic way get yourself in shape, lose some extra pounds and have fun while doing it. It's also a great way to cut down on driving your car everywhere. So, if you're sitting on the fence and aren't sure whether to start biking, just do it! I promise you won't regret it.

Oh, and here's a pretty sweet Trek Madone to help you get motivated even more.....

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