Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cycling Therapy

In the time of my born-again cycling life, one discovery that I have made about cycling stands out above others...  And that is using cycling as a form of therapy.  We all know the benefits that cycling can have over our level of fitness, physical strength and conditioning, and weight loss.  But for me, the effects on my mental health and state of mind and to a certain degree my spiritual being is where I find cycling to be most apparent.  This is probably the biggest reason why I am so hooked on cycling now and for the better part of nearly 2 years.  Cycling, simply put, makes me feel better.  And now more than ever, this will be put to a test.
Bad news seem to come in bunches.  Having been given some recent bad news of my uncle passing away a few days ago and an aunt being given days in her remaining life by her doctors, one can not help but fall into a sudden case of depression hitting like a tonne of bricks.  It is in tough times like these where I search for that haven, that refuge where I can get away from it all...  my escape...  my escape from the gloom, the unhappiness and sadness that looms over my family.
'Lest We Forget'
On the eve of Remembrance Day and in memory of my uncle who served in the war and has now passed, this seemed very appropriate.

Today the sun finally came out. The lone sunny day of a week filled with nothing but cold rain and dark clouds.  I finished my work early, hopped on my bike and rode.  I rode for miles and miles with a lot of things on my mind and a heavy heart.  Breathing cold air and experiencing all the brown, yellow, red and orange colours of the autumn leaves all around me.  Searching for that instance, that one instance when I can forget all the troubles of the world and be in that 'happy place'.  Unfortunately, this time it was difficult in coming.  Mourning a death in the family or someone close to you is a different kind of depression and I think only time can heal it.  But riding my bike did clear my mind of everything else, the added stress of daily struggles, the looming financial worries, and the seemingly petty thoughts of 'will I get this project done in time' or 'will I be able to pay my upcoming bills' etc.  Cycling is an aid but not a cure.  But it is certainly a great aid and a much better alternative to being a couch potato and drowning yourself in sorrow.  The feeling of freedom while riding my bike, even for that short moment, is a medication that can not be replaced.

Today's bike route as tracked by GPS.

ps. I am hesitating publishing this blog entry as it seems overly too personal for the public to see... but whatever.. here it is.


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