If you’ve ever seen the show “The Biggest Loser,” you have a little window into what my day was like yesterday. The show features overweight contestants who want to lose the most weight and win a monetary prize at the end of the competition. By way of entertainment for the viewing audience, a team of personal trainers do evil things to the participants to help them lose weight, pushing them to their physical limits to do more exercise in a day than these people have done in several years. The trainers run them up and down steps, accelerate tread mills, bark orders at them, and we, from the comfort of our sofas, chuckle at their suffering. In the privacy of a confessional and out of ear shot of the trainers, the contestants who want to lose weight, but are not enjoying the process, call the trainers a variety of names, all of them synonymous with “shepherd of the devil.”

This is essentially very similar to how I felt yesterday. Somehow I had the mistaken notion that a bike ride along the carriage ways in Acadia would be pleasant. I conjured up images of feet resting on pedals, coasting past the scenic lakes far below. I imagined a smile on my face. In reality, there was no coasting. No feet resting on pedals. What there was was a lot of huffing and puffing, panting, sighs, rests, changing gears, drifting ever so slowly to stops and leaning over handlebars whilst awaiting breath to return to lungs, and burning thighs. John D. Rockefeller was a genius. The man deserved his wealth. How anyone could construct a path that is uphill both ways defies imagination, but he did it. He may have also been a sadist in between those philanthropic impulses.

I fear my husband may be too (a sadist). Maybe he’s trying to return to his super secret former MI-5 or MI-7, or whatever it is, ability, or maybe he’s trying to cash in on a life insurance policy in my name. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the five hour bike ride, the burn and ache in my legs and occasional swooning feeling of dizziness, chest pains, and black spots. It was very beautiful and no one needs the exercise more than I. I’m just making sure to get a t-shirt that says, “Survivor of Stuart’s Vacation Bootcamp 2008.”

We finished the day watching a sunset through the most magnificent fog (the one time fog can be good) at the top of Cadillac Mountain. All suffering was forgotten as I creaked my way from the car to the rock top and we stood admiring the view together. I am so very lucky to be married to this wonderful man.

Today, it is raining (surprise, surprise), so it looks like the itinerary will be a slow one instead of the one “Bootcamp Stuart” planned, which was hiking up a rock face to the top of Cadillac Mountain. If, to make up for it, in the middle of shopping, he turns to me and barks, “GET DOWN AND GIVE ME TWENTY PRIVATE!” I swear I won’t be a bit surprised.

Here are some pictures from the bike ride, sunset, and the last couple of days of adventures.

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