Ultimately, it's my dad's fault!
During Thanksgiving break 2018, he asked me to join him for a ride. "Why not," I thought, "might do me some good and I can hang out with dad." So off we went.
By the end of the week, I'd been on several rides with him and really enjoyed it. He lent me his old Cannondale and I put it to good use. In January 2020, I started getting serious; I had a Kinetic Road Machine trainer, and so I started a training program in Zwift (the beginners FTP builder).
I made huge strides. The training program definitely works if you stick to it! Prior to training, I struggled to ride on the rolling hills of the Natches Trace. Afterwards, I crushed them (well, at least by my standards anyway).
To give you an idea: my "standard" route on the Trace is from the parking lot at mile marker 440, out to Branch Bridge and back, just under 16 miles. Prior to training, I could not beat 1 hour on that route, at a speed of about 15.5 MPH. I now regularly do the ride that same route around 18.5 MPH, and my best is 19.2 MPH (49 mins 16 seconds).
File biking into the "wish I'd done this sooner" category, and thanks dad!