About The Bike Ride (Post I)
In the upcoming days I will be publishing a series of posts about the road that led me to one of my current pursuits - a 266 miles long charitable bike ride. This is part 1 of 3.
The “Average” Athlete.
I would say that under normal circumstances, I’m an “average athlete”: I enjoy physical activity and workout for the sake of wellness and better health. However, I also have “those days” - the ones I feel like doing absolutely nothing, and not moving a bone in my body. Also, I am by no means obsessed with strenuous, intense exercise, that will leave me out of breath, on the verge of barfing, while in the pursuit of the “fittest bod”. I have gotten off that bandwagon a while ago, switching to a pursuit of something different, that would also make my body move, but feel more fun and enjoyable instead.
With that said, don’t mistake me for a super ‘laid back chick' yet: at one point in my life, I intensely wished for myself to be skinnier, stronger, and more toned than I was. What I had was never enough and I wanted more. That elusive picture painted a more attractive version of a life in my mind, even making me feel like *maybe* it was also the solution to my problems. I was going through my 20′s.
However, these days, blessedly being in my 30′s, and already having been through a massive weight loss, I am on my way to harnessing a feeling of peace with myself and body image. But, as I am heavily hard-wired to go opposite route, that inner-peace is not an overnight deal: it takes making a daily decision and a conscious practice to do so.
I still encounter a few struggles from time to time, but making a point to practice a different mindset, has helped me return to a more relaxed state-of-mind faster than times past.
Relax and Enjoy.
That self-acceptance also influenced the way I workout now: a few months ago, I decided that when exercising, I’d rather enjoy myself than push it intensely hard, based on the vague possibility of a six pack.
With that in mind, I intently found ways to have a blast while performing a physical activity. I hiked, I played with my dog, I played racket ball at the beach, and a few months ago, I bought a bike and named her Lucy (I name “things”. I’m weird).
I was happily riding around town… talking to birds and singing girly songs, in a joyful bid to “cease the moment” and “just be.”
But who am I kidding? I know myself well enough to know that in spite of finding contentment in such conformity, there is also a side of me that longs for a challenge.
That sing-a-long kind of ride can bring me bounds of joy, but if I don’t balance it with something out of my comfort zone, that contentment goes away, and I get bored really, really fast.
Getting Out of My Comfort Zone.
So, this content leisure rider, in the comfort of her sunshiny life, got off her a** and signed up to ride 275 miles across two countries.
On top of that, I have to raise a significant amount of money for charity, making the conscious effort to focus on the “big picture”, while dealing with my own discomfort in asking others for help or money.
I did that because there’s something inside me that nags and stirs until it finds a good dare. Something that can only be kept quiet for a limited amount of time, until it bursts and manifests itself: I want and long for that kind of stimulation.
Most often than not, when things are “just good”, I want them to be even better. But this time, instead of channeling that energy into thoughts that “the answer” would be in changing my body or the way I look, I sought to manifest it doing something that will not only be different, fun, and healthy, but it will also help others.
Was I ready to get out of my comfort zone? You bet! The inevitable logistical, physical, and emotional investments of such an endeavor played a big part in my decision. Also, the allure of cycling up the steep hills of Europe feels more like “a calling” than staying on my cute little bike along a paved beach road.
So far, this path has proven to not only be an adventurous and often times uncomfortable choice, but also a personal growing experience. And that is what I will be writing about and sharing it here in the upcoming days. So stay tuned! See you out there…
(To be continued…)