Thursday, June 3, 2010

How are you liking this, little embryo?

I had a little chat with my embryo today as I was slogging through a 10 mile stretch of virtually straight uphill mountain road. Unfortunately, I’m not in good enough shape to be able to ride uphill when it’s neverending, when an extra little push won’t get you to the top, but you have to keep going and going and going. So I walked most of it and it took a while – 3 hours. And that was just the beginning of my day – followed by 20+ more miles of biking with another huge uphill at the end.

Since Mark skipped the 10 mile uphill leg, I was on my own. So I asked my embryo what it thought. I asked if I was enjoying this, if it wanted to do more of it, if it would be my adventure companion in a few years. I told it that if it was really miserable, it wasn’t too late to self-abort and try its luck with other parents. From what I’ve read, the chance of a child being born to parents in a developed country that can provide it a solid income, shelter, food and education is extremely small. So it would really be rolling the dice if it was going to try its odds elsewhere. However, I’m sure there are plenty of parents in developed countries more likely to support sleeping in late and watching TV than pushing climbing mountains. So it could perhaps do better if it’s not into this stuff.

I wondered whether my increased heart rate increases its heart rate, which gets it used to (and perhaps liking?) exercise. Mark worried that the increased heart rate would just be stress to the embryo, since it’s not actually exercising.

I had River on a bike as a fetus and in a bike seat at four months old. I imagine it will be similar with this one. Hopefully seeing exercise as a normal part of life will help it/them consider exercise to be a positive and desirable thing. Hopefully they will want to accompany me on what Mark calls my “death marches” and what I call my “health marches.”

In the meantime, I am dead, dead tired. I hope my legs can function tomorrow, because I have another 50k or so to bike, plus a bus, plus a train.

The best thing about biking, besides the physical challenge, the great scenery, and the ability to take in an environment with all the senses, is being able to eat – lots. I ate like a horse today, every half hour during the hardest parts. And it was GOOD. I don’t appreciate food quite as much when I haven’t biked beforehand.

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