20130905

"I've got the black lung, pop"

I haven't ridden my bike for two days.

My lungs have the maintenance level of a small dog - something that people carry in purses and that yaps a lot and breaks if you breathe on it.  Cigarette smoke renders me useless in about thirty seconds flat, and once I walked into a hookah bar and then turned around and walked right back out so that I wouldn't die.

With wildfires still raging and the air quality pretty crappy where I happened to be staying last weekend, I developed a gnarly, phlegmy, quite attractive sounding smokers' cough over the weekend after leaving the window open all night and, well, breathing.  Sometime during my ride in to work on Tuesday morning when I was wheezing and feeling like I was inhaling Jello, I figured that I needed to maybe take it easy until I wasn't keeping myself up all night with my newly acquired black lung disease.

The point of all this is that it's amazing how much of a drastically better day I have when I ride, and how it really turns me into (more of) a terrible person when I don't.  I could have the exact same scenario day to day, and whether or not I ride determines how I concentrate and do good work or feel like crawling into a little ball under my desk sometime after lunch.  Riding to work improves my attitude, my concentration, the way I approach tasks, and makes me not feel tired throughout the day.  Even a little ride just from the train station makes a huge difference - and granted, I absolutely love my job, but it is very mentally taxing, so whatever it is that riding does to make my mind clearer, I'll take it! 

Do you find riding improves your day and changes your attitude?  Or that not riding makes you a grump?

If only my lungs had the strength of my stomach, as I've apparently been eating recalled yogurt for the past few weeks with no ill effects.  I thought it was a bit tangy...

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