Letting Go of My Failings

My Bike
My Bike
I got rid of it. That stuff that hung around in the garage making me feel guilty? It’s gone. Today I took my golf clubs and my cross-country skis and sold them at the recycled sports gear store. Well, to be honest, I only sold the clubs. They didn’t want the skis. The fellow was quite polite about it, though. He said something like “We only sell more recent technologies. These have wax.” Oh, I see. I didn’t even know that waxed skis were passé! So, I donated them to the thrift store instead.

That’s it. I’m almost completely exercise equipment free. I already sold the treadmill a few months ago, and that was a weight off my mind. I still have some light exercise hand weights that I’ll probably keep and a bike that maybe one of my children will want, but otherwise it’s all gone, and I’m glad.

Like most people, I get enthused about exercise for a while, then I get bored. I’ve joined gyms, taken aerobics classes, learned yoga, walked, cycled, skied, golfed, and swum. The swimming part was years ago, though, and the bike, while more recent, was a bit of a disaster. First of all, I didn’t know which way round to wear the helmet, then I was embarrassed when I fell off the bike right outside my neighbour’s house. I couldn’t figure out the gears while actually cycling, and going up hills is pretty much an essential skill. So, the bike has been gathering dust for a couple of years now.

There’s only one thing worse than feeling guilty about giving up on exercising, and that is being faced daily with the detritus of one’s failed efforts. Every time I went into the garage or basement I was reminded once again of the equipment that I once wanted and later abandoned. It’s almost like seeing your ex.

I recently read that dating your ex is like buying your own clothes back from the Goodwill store. That’s how I felt about my exercise stuff. I really did not want to be reminded of my failed relationships with fitness activities. Sometimes I thought that I might eventually use those things again, and I am too stingy to buy new stuff when I’ve already have this perfectly functional, if dusty and aging, equipment. Eventually, though, I had to accept the fact that I would never use it again.

Having gone through months of resisting the urge to dispose of the skis and the golf clubs (because, you know, I might use them again) and then finally taking the plunge and driving them to the recycling places, it was quite disarming to realize how little they were worth. In my imaginings they weren’t so old, and they had cost me so much more. In truth, though, I was just hanging on to the dream of being a fit, sporty person. I will never have a perfect relationship with sports, or even a half-decent one, but I know when a relationship is over and it’s time to move on. Golf and skiing, you are history. Does anyone want a bike?


  1. It’s probably as freeing as when I got rid of all my unfinished projects and fabric that I finally figured out I will never sew. There is a lightness to it as if that stuff is a weight we carry around.

  2. I think we all feel like this at some stage. But I still jog. It was one thing I didn’t feel comfortable not doing once I had stopped running marathons and wotnot.
    The numerous pairs of running shoes move from the ‘Posh” shoe rack to the casual one to the knock about the house one, til eventually they find their way to the shoe rack labelled ,‘Sheesh, will you get those stinking things out of the house’ and later, when even the dogs turn their noses up at them they get designated ”For Use In The Garden” until they fall to pieces while weeding.

    I too used to have a bike and a treadmill. They got nicked…thank god. The cost of petrol would have meant the run to the Pawn shop cost more than the bike and the treadmill.

    1. Ha ha! Thanks for those thoughts, Arkenaten. I had a good chuckle at the shoe rankings. My gardening shoes aren’t even fit for gardening any more! I really should chuck them out, too.

      How does a treadmill get nicked?

      1. We had moved house and as the movers took it off the truck one of us said, ‘Oh, just stick it on the stoep ( covered balcony) for now, we’ll sort it out later.’
        Well, thieves jumped the wall and sorted it out before we did.
        The bike was in the garage and this was left wide open one day and the bike went. Along with a telescopic ladder.
        Maybe the thief wanted to start a window cleaning business?
        Theft is a day to day thing in South Africa.
        It is said if you stand still in central Johannesburg for more than 15 minutes someone will nick your trousers.
        I have never been tempted to test this theory.

  3. Oh, that’s too bad. That means you have to remember to put things away and lock doors all the time. I once accidentally left my garage door open and my house unlocked for 24 hours and didn’t lose a thing! My neighbour came and knocked on my door to let me know I should close the garage.

    1. I keep trying to get some of my not so nice neighbours to ”park off” on our property in the hope that they get nicked too. No luck so far.
      Seriously, it is a constant concern. We really cannot leave things lying around in the yard unattended or if we are off the property.
      I once accidentally left my car unlocked and the passenger door wide open while on a visit to my in-laws in Portugal.
      It stayed like this overnight until my brother in law alerted me over breakfast that the car was open.
      There were loads of things in the car from a day out sightseeing, including my Olympus camera and a couple of lenses.
      Not a thing was touched.
      I grew up in the UK and only ever experienced theft once – also a bike, funnily enough – nicked out of the ( unlocked) garage while we were all in front of the TV watching the FA Cup Final!

      This’ll give you some idea of what it was/ is like in South Africa


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