Cycling to happiness
Back in my early years, between the age of 8 – 16 I was almost attached to my bike, like a prison guard escorting a prisoner to court. It was never far from me. It was the first thing that crossed my mind when I woke up. I would be eager to get out of bed and onto the saddle. There was nothing else to worry about. Food – I ate before I left. Water – I drank before I left. It was simple. The aim was to go out and get lost somewhere and find my way back and more importantly, have fun. No time targets. No distance targets. It was just simple fun, riding about in my own company.
Roll forward to my 30’s – I wake up thinking about my day strategically and how I want to tackle it. There are decisions like, food, clothing, work, social media, bills, exercise, challenging myself mentally etc. You get it right? What am I trying to portray here – I do waffle on sometimes as my regular readers may know but I eventually get to the point! We have responsibilities and these increase as we grow up (in age). Do we over complicate things though – in my opinion and from personal experience, we do. We tend to worry about too many variables in our life that exist and we cannot do much about them but what we also do is allow these to interfere with the fun side of our personalities and activities. Take me for example, I lost the love of riding my bike for many years. Although I still had a bike, pre-April 2020, it was hardly used. I recently asked my self why and the below responses were fired back at me (by me)
- You grew older
- Life became difficult
- Parents illness
- You started working
- You started driving
- Gym was your priority
This list could go on. Reading the above, how many of these just happen and out of my control? I’d say 4 out of 7. What was my real excuse? I don’t have one. Maybe I used to think too much about food and water and worry I may miss a window of opportunity to eat – bollocks, I know. I was so engrossed in my daily discipline, I forgot to have fun. I just changed my daily priorities without even realising and moved on from the love I had with my bike. These last few weeks I’ve been out again cycling and I’ve caught myself at times with the biggest of smiles. I’ve found people walk past me or cycle past me and smile back which makes me realise that I was smiling all the time. I then thought to myself about how happy I felt riding that bike again for hours on hours, cycling to no other destination other than happiness. I had no idea that day where I was going. At one point I ended up in another town after following this cycle path along the forestry. I was absorbed in joy and didn’t want this feeling to stop. The scent of the surrounding area. Nature making it’s usual noises from trees rustling to birds chirping. Friendly faces walking on by. Families laughing and joking. Other kids on their bikes shouting to the mum “mum look how fast I’m going”. I had it all around me for those 2 hours. Some moments, it was just nature and me, I’d pause for a moment and reflect on how I felt but also making a promise to myself that this will continue. How we communicate with ourselves is the most important communication you will ever use. Be committed to positive communication with you
So, what’s your point Rishi? You may ask. Sometimes, even with all of the responsibilities that we have, it’s absolutely fine to take a little time to yourself and be that child again. To be curious about things. To go and explore. To want to have fun. To want to be lost in joy and forget about the responsibilities you may have. This could come in many ways; walking, gym, running, hiking etc but for me, why cycling has given me another sense of joy back is because of the association I have with it – that child like emotion. The emotion and feeling I would have as a child in my early years and teens. That care free attitude and joyful smile which submerges throughout your bodily senses. Try it. Find an activity that you did, in our teens or even early twenties, that gave you this or similar feeling. Make some time for it. If you’re struggling to make time for fun, then you really NEED to make time for fun and make it a MUST.
Thanks again for reading. I don’t expect to be competing in the next tour de France but I’m definitely on that road to happiness and will enjoy all the views
Until next time, enough love and stay safe