On the weekends, I try to ride my bicycle for about forty-five minutes. I like the constant breeze you get when you ride a bicycle—even on the warmest days, it’s not all that uncomfortable until you stop pedaling.
This is in contrast to my fitness regimen during the work week, when I take my half-hour lunch break late in the day to walk briskly around downtown Georgetown. Though my route is confined to the shady side of the street and under live oaks, I inevitably return to the office looking like I’ve been jazzercising in Death Valley, California.
If I encounter citizens with questions or concerns upon my return, they seem momentarily stunned into a respectful silence. No doubt they are looking at my ripe-tomato face and thinking, where is the nearest defibrillator? I smile and ask how I can help, while I guzzle water and mop my neck with a paper towel.
I am a staunch proponent of perspiring at the office. The way I see it, if I don’t choose to be fit, I may not to be able to fit my expanding behind onto my ergonomic balance-ball chair in a few short months. I even have what is called a “standing desk” so that reading and responding to emails can become a calorie-burning activity, and I frequently do yoga “Sun Salutations” when no one is looking. I believe this makes me the ideal office worker because I maintain an alert, relaxed, yet plainly overheated state. Look for my new book, Excel at Work: Sweating with Spreadsheets, due out this fall. Feel free to email me your office workout regimes, and I will feature them while providing absolutely no credit whatsoever.
You perceptive readers searching for a thread of coherency may be thinking, “Why don’t you just bring your bicycle to work, so you can enjoy the movement of air during your allotted half hour?”
I did think about bringing my bicycle to work. However, a few weeks ago, I broke my pledge to remain pedaling throughout my entire neighborhood workout route. I must confess: I stopped to pick several awesome items out of someone else’s trash can. And I know I would do it again, presented with the same opportunity! So, I cannot risk showing up at the office with a perfectly good whisk broom or coffee maker balanced on my handlebars.
Early one Saturday morning, I was cycling in my neighborhood. I spied what appeared to be a fine boogie board protruding from a garbage can on the side of the road. I passed it, but thought about how that looked like a decent boogie board, and how it sure has been a long time since I was on a boogie board.
I turned around.
Imagine my delight when I discovered not one, but FIVE nearly new boogie boards in the trash. Evidently a vacationer purchased them for the week and was done with them. I stacked them up on my handlebars and rode the few blocks home, looking like an aged, gypsy, circus-clown performer/humor columnist.
I recently returned from a vacation to Alaska and I must say my garbage-can diving expedition provided me with a deeper understanding of the motivation of those early adventurers seeking gold: FREE STUFF. Look for me at the beach on my Barbie Boogie Board.
Janet Combs is a freelance writer living in Georgetown County. Her column is published regularly in the Georgetown Times and the South Strand News. Contact her at www.janetfrickecombs.com.