One of my greatest joys in the pursuit of physical fitness was when I discovered my passion for biking. The very first encounter I had with a bike was when I was 6 years old. I remember watching my brother, who was a year younger than me, smile with excitement when our Dad brought home two handmade bikes with parts he found at a recycling depot. I remember the feeling of sitting on the bike and my Dad giving me a wee push and running behind me. After he let go it wasn’t long before I fell down, scraped my knees and found some crocodile tears too! The feeling of overcoming the fear of falling and moving forward on a bicycle was a preview for life’s journey of adventures yet to be experienced.
Thankfully I was able to get back on my bike and master the art of letting go. That summer lesson with my Dad and brother grew into many years of adventure, discovery, and a sense of freedom. Overcoming mental fear is key not only on a bike but in life’s challenges along the way.
The bike has taken me down many paths, trails, and roads helping me to navigate obstacles along the way, be it people, animals, traffic, and nature (the black bears in British Columbia). What I have learned from cycling is that you can begin anywhere you are, and go to places you never thought you would go both physically and mentally. Riding a bike is a skill you never forget and can take with you anywhere. As you feel the air move across your skin, you senses heighten and calm envelopes you. All that is left to do is focus on the world as it goes by. This is truly my recipe for happiness!
As a teen, a bike was given to me as a gift and I would get up early to ride along the Bras d’Or lakes on Cape Breton Island. Riding past the calm water with the sunrise mirroring off the lake was something I will never forget. The fresh salty air was intoxicating. While most of my friends were spending time sleeping in on weekends, I ventured out alone to ride over Kelly’s Mountain all the way to the beautiful village of Baddeck. This lovely place was home to Alexander Graham Bell, world renowned sailing, and famous Cape Breton hospitality.
Biking sustained me through my years at university and into the adjustment of adulthood. Cycling took me to many places over the years but of all the places I have travelled, the most memorable was riding through a California Red Wood Forest in New Zealand. While cycling among some of the largest trees I have ever seen, I never felt so small, but strangely, I felt safe with the forest blanketing me.
Our hope is that you may find your stride with getting active with something you love to do but maybe haven’t done for awhile. I have been so inspired by many clients taking up a sport or activity after many years of abstaining.. Whatever it is you love to do, the only thing to remember is to always have fun doing it. Share with us your adventures and let us know what your inspiration was for starting again.