A Winter of Discontent

Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun…….  from Shakespeare’s Richard III

This winter has been a real soul breaker.  The lousy weather has taken it’s toll on a lot of us and I include myself.

Last winter I was able to bike all throughout the winter, thanks to milder than usual weather.  I would get up early most weekday mornings and bike into the darkness and 45 degree or better temps.  This was a real bonus because I rolled into the Spring with a great level of fitness and made some pretty good gains over the Spring/Summer.

Not so much this winter.  I realized just how little I biked when I looked at my Garmin page where I download my ride data.  Since December 1st I have ridden a grand total of TEN TIMES.

So yesterday when I hauled my leg over the crossbar and rode a mere 14 miles around West Creek it came as no surprise that I was extremely slow and my heart rate showed I was struggling.

Due to a spate of bad of luck/timing, my health has not been like it was last winter.   However it’s not the physical part of me that’s suffered so much as the mental.  Being less than optimal physically plus dreadful weather tends to wear down one’s soul.

Usually you can gut out a couple of weekend rides every week during the winter if you bundle up and stop for coffee.  That didn’t happen this winter.  Every weekend it was too frigid/windy/wet/slash-all-of-that-at-one-time to ride.

I think it all came to head last Wednesday when here in Virginia we had a storm that in the space of 4 hours or less produced: rain, sleet, snow, thunder, lightning, 30-50 mph winds and bone chilling cold.


This past weekend has seen a return of more seasonal temperatures here in Virginia.  Saturday, I waited out the cold and went for the aforementioned bike ride around West Creek and River Road (which still had snow on the side of the road).


Today Mrs. Bagby and I slept out the time change then headed up to Lake Anna State Park to do some much needed geocaching and hiking.  We huffed and puffed over 5 miles and logged 5 caches.  One cache took us 2 and half miles total of hiking by itself to get.


After a warm shower and some pistachios, I got a call from my son Andy who is married and in the Air Force.  He’s in Hawaii with his wife for four years and we miss them terribly.  Luckily, thanks to some penny pinching and a couple of long term substitute teaching jobs by Mrs. Bagby, we will be visiting them in a few weeks.  I’m really looking forward to this.  We’ve never been able to travel much but this trip comes a very good time.


Andy, Mrs. Bagby and I talked about what we would do and made a short list.  Hiking, beaches and a tropical beverage or two look like a good place to start.

Now I sit here feeling really tired but grateful.  Grateful that God gave us seasons here in Virginia.  Grateful for friends who are there when I need them.  Grateful for a great class of kids.  Grateful for my own kids who always make feel loved AND make me laugh.  Grateful for sun and warmth on a March day and grateful for a wife who puts up with me.

All is written by one hand. – Paulo Coelho

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