The Pedal Pusher has been my LBS of choice for almost 2 years.  I haven’t kept track of the exact figures, but its probably safe to say that I could have bought a new bike or two by now if I hadn’t spent the money on parts and lube and tubes and tires and that Surly t-shirt that embarrasses Christie so much.  This past Saturday I went in to buy brake pads for the all-rounder, but just ’round the end of the road bike aisle I found a couple Long Haul Truckers and a Fuji Touring.  So I stood there for a while, shifting my gaze from one to the other.

“You’ve been drooling over a new tourer for 2 years.  Just put one on layaway.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

Layaway.  Who does that anymore?  Two years and I had no idea.

A little while later……

“So they have a layaway program at the bike shop.”

“So?”  She’s never impressed with bike shop stories.

“So I can put a new touring bike on layaway.”

“With what money?”  God, she’s really good at pooping all over the party.

“What if I quit smoking?”  WTF did I just say?  Crap.  “I could use my cancer stick money to pay for the bike.”

Christie was elated.  After careful consideration I downloaded some Surly wallpaper to keep me motivated.

Smoked the last one last night.  After everyone else was asleep, I grabbed a beer and sat down on the front porch.  It was almost like saying goodbye to an old friend.  You know?  That old friend with the knife in your back or the mistress who demands more and more money lest she tells your wife.  Gah!  I’m an idiot.  Please, if you value your sanity, don’t ever, EVER calculate how much money you’ve burned up.  And then, don’t try to figure out what else you could have done with it.

I’ve quit before.  Once for a couple years.  For the record, any time I’ve ever quit for more than a couple days I’ve done it “cold turkey”.  Patches and gum never worked for me, but that’s probably because I didn’t really want to quit.  I like smoking.  I like the way the smoke from the first one of the day makes my lungs tighten up.  I like the smell when I open a new pack.  I like the way it makes me look cool and the way my clothes smell in the morning and how my teeth are a nice shade of beige instead of boring old white.  Grrr.  But I always come back.  Because I like it.

Tangible.   Now there’s a new weapon in the arsenal.  It’s something real and fun and I want it.  I have motivation.  A goal.  New toys, man!  There has never been something tangible as my reward for stopping something I never shoulda started.  (“If you stop hitting your sister, you can have some chocolate.”  That works so well with kids.)  I hope it helps, because I really want that bike.  And trading something that will probably kill me after I give it all my money for something that might last a couple decades and make me healthier in the process doesn’t sound too bad.

So, yeah.   I’m a quitter and so far today sucks.

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0 Responses to Quitter

  1. Bone says:

    I smoked about 1.5 packs a day for 10 years.

    Let’s see, that’s 10 * 365.24 * 1.5 * $4 = $21,900.00.

    That’s depressing, but, I quit 4 years ago, so since then, I’ve saved $8766.00.

    I could have bought a nice bike every year since I quit and still come out ahead!

  2. heather says:

    self-bribery. ya gotta love it.
    i quit again in april. started smoking only at work in late september.
    j still doesn’t know and i haven’t said anything on my blog.
    i ~like~ smoking. and i hate knowing that it’s gonna kill me in a slow and painful way that makes me think that my nightmares of dying in a car crash with a deer are really dreams of a preferred scenario. lol
    i wish you luck. keep us posted.

  3. doc says:

    Go for it, brother. If you get that LHT, I’ll ride up from the sticks and we can go for a cruise across the river. Awesome!

  4. the Sloth says:

    Bone, with the money you’ve saved, you could have got yourself something from Vanilla. 😉

    Heather – That’s my problem. I like it. A lot. Thanks for the well wishes. I’m on day two without a smoke and still sucks.

    Thanks, Doc. I’ll take you up on your offer next summer. I hope.

  5. Apertome says:

    Way to go, man! That’s a great decision. I quit a couple of years ago and it was very, very hard. I know what you’re going through. But biking helped me immensely. It wasn’t that I quit to save money, but I was going on rides and found I just couldn’t do the kind of riding I wanted. My lungs weren’t up to the task. The only way to move forward was to ditch the cigarettes, and I’m glad I did.

    So, if you are having a hard time, go for a ride. It’s a great way to take out frustrations in a positive way, and over time you’ll see great increases in your riding ability. It does take time to see improvements, but they will come.

    Good luck!