In August 2004 …

… I went to get my fitness checked at the college health center–just for kicks (it was free back then, after all). I was a little surprised when my stats came out–the pinch test gave me a mere 6 percent bodyfat. Usually, I’d been about 8 percent. My VO2 Max at the time was supposed to be about 55–not phenomenal. A month later I checked again, and my VO2 max had risen all the way up to 65, where my bodyfat had gotten back to 8 percent.

As long as I’ve been riding, the closest semi-steep hill to my house has been this 300-foot climb over a mile and a half. It has two short sections of double-digit gradient, and the rest is probably in the 8 percent range. Back in ’04, the fastest time I clocked was a measly 6 minutes and 30 seconds.

This morning, (we’re back in 2006–are you following?) I wandered into a friend’s office where he has an electronic bodyfat checker thingy. We put all the stats in and hit the start button, and my mouth dropped open. It claimed my bodyfat at a whopping 13.9 percent. I checked again for safety’s sake and still measured about 14 percent. In fairness, he’d said that the thing could be off as much as 5 percent depending on what I’d eaten, etc., but dang, that meant I’m at least at 9 percent, and likely more.

And, truth be known, I have gained weight this summer. I think I’m about three pounds heavier than I was. That means I’m still about 10 pounds lighter than I was before I started riding my bike, or before I broke my jaw.

But still … I started thinking I needed to get back into construction or something …

All of this information was getting a little depressing to me. I started thinking I could legitimately do mountain bike races under the guise of mid-life crises. Aw heck, I might do that anyway. Just don’t tell my wife. But I do have, as of this weekend, one consolation out of all of this:

Because, even with all of my chub …

I can ride up that stinking hill in 6:20 this year.

Anybody else have any other personal records to speak of?

P.S. For anyone curious, today is indeed my wife’s due date, but no, we haven’t had the baby. Because it’s today, that means that, yes, as of now, I’ve been waiting for that earth-shattering phone call for a good three weeks. The majority of first-time pregnancies go late rather than early. You think your wife’s an exception?


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