As you will have gathered if you have read my blog I like cycling and have just been to Morocco with Velo Venutres. I took up cycling two years ago and for the last two years I have set myself the large goal of completing the Etape. For the last two years I have crashed with 6 weeks to go and not been able to do the Etape. This has led to disappointment, frustration and a sense of unfinished business. In my head I have set the Etape up as proof to myself that I am no longer fat and unfit.
I am currently 14st 4lb which to me is unacceptable and I have slipped into old habits. Morocco enabled me to reflect on the journey that I am on. It made me realise how much I have changed my lifestyle and how much healthier I am, sure I still have a ways to go but I am getting there. It also made me realise the similarities between mountain biking and my journey towards a healthier lifestyle
- Noone else can make the journey for you–
you have to decide that you want to make the journey and be committed to it. It isn’t always going to be easy and sometimes people around you can lighten your load (by carrying your bike) but you are the one that has to make the journey, no one else is going to carry you.
- You never forget how to ride a bike – I know how to be healthier and lose weight, most people know that it is “simply” a matter of eating fewer calories than you burn but in practice it can be harder. Cycling is simple in theory, you sit on the bike and pedal but it can take a huge amount of courage & skill.
- look around you-you can get so engrossed & focused on your front wheel that you forget to look around and enjoy where you are
and what you are doing. Even if you haven’t yet reached your final destination sometimes you have to stop and appreciate just how far you have come.
- When the road is rough you learn a lot – mountain biking takes skills that you have to learn. You only learn them by facing rough terrain. Mountain bikes come alive when they are on rough terrain. You learn how to move your body. The first time that you feel the rocks move underneath your wheels is scary but as you get move experienced it actually feels quite fun and enjoy the noise as they ping on your bike frame.
- Sometimes you crash sometimes when you least expect it and crashes can leave scars and bruises that take time to heal. Some crashes are unavoidable. Some crashes
you have to learn, learn why you crashed and try to avoid them in the future. Crashes are part of the journey and you have to accept them as part of the course. Everyone crashes and dwelling on them doesn’t help. I can not get back on a bike, many people have questioned whether I should get back on the bike as I seem to crash frequently but it what I enjoy doing.
- breath & relax there are moments as you are coming down the mountain and you are so filled with fear that you have a massive knot in your stomach and you forget the essentials act of breathing. When you do take the breath and relax you just go with the flow.
- You will get there eventually –just because the road is steep, you lose traction in your back wheel and don’t have the skills to ride up the hill on the bike doesn’t mean that you
have to stop moving. Sitting by the side of the road doesn’t achieve anything. Just because you can’t ride the bike doesn’t mean that you can’t push the bike whilst you walk.
- You can’t always see the path that you are going to take but you have to trust you guide, trust that it takes you were you want to go.
- The journey is worth it,when you have to work at something and sweat to get to a place it makes it all the more worth while. Sometimes when I am struggling with my overeating I have moments when I look at rose tinted glasses, thinking that being overweight would be so much easier. Then I remember how much of a struggle it was to
just go around my everyday life and realise that I am worth it.
- Laughter is the best medicine life can get pretty serious sometimes but having a laugh with those that you are with makes everything better