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I was looking back at my Strava (fitness app) activities from the last year and realized that today marks my one year anniversary in the sport of cycling. Thinking back to the time right before I bought my bike I recall feeling emotionally tired, uninspired, frustrated and generally unhappy with myself. Let me just say wow, what a difference a year makes… on the bike anyway!
How I Got Started in Cycling.
1/20/18 was my first bike ride in years, seriously since I was like 10 or 12 years old! I cannot believe how fast this year has flown by. With a baby girl growing rapidly into a sophisticated toddler, life is moving at warp speed and so much has changed since that first bike ride.
After some urging from a good friend to give cycling a try for fitness I borrowed a bike. I had never considered outdoor cycling before and honesty I didn’t think my butt would last fifteen minutes. But I took it slow and just enjoyed the time being outside.
Eleven days, four bike rides, and a ton of research later I jumped out and bought my first road bike! I was seriously in love with the sport of cycling. I bought a Trek Domane SL 5 Disc which is an endurance/adventure style road bike that allows me to ride on both pavement and gravel. It was on sale and just meant to be. I road it right out of the bike shop. I’m not even sure I took the tag off! I still laugh when I remember the guys at the bike shop helping me get situated with the clipless pedals. I was so afraid I would fall on my face!
What Cycling Has Done For Me.
Little did I know that first bike ride would turn into me discovering some deeply buried passions, long forgotten in the mist of striving to be something or someone else. Those passion are for writing, empowering others and entrepreneurship. Secretly I have always wanted to be a writer. I love putting words down on paper and telling a story. I’ve dabbled at various times in my life but never had the courage or confidence to really give it a try.
About four or five months ago I started to do what I had been thinking about for a while, writing. I published my blog and now I’m working on turning my biking and personal growth passions into a business. Because I realized I want more from this life and I know more is possible.
Being on my bike gave me time, an hour of mental peace to think, to dream, to feel and to push. I’m a pusher. Always have been. I love that feeling of being physical, using my muscles and getting a good sweat on to some kick-ass music.
Little by little I got stronger, leaner and more clear mentally as well as emotionally.
I was so in love with cycling that I couldn’t stop talking about it. I was so excited about the fact I was getting physically stronger doing something that was fun and did not feel like a have to do. You know what I mean, the “I should work out, but…insert excuse” mantra was not there at all. I wanted to ride my bike… Actually, I needed to ride my bike. I loved it.
By April 2018 I was riding 40 miles, by May 60 miles and now I’m training for my first century ride just a year later. And seriously, there is nothing special about me. I’m not an extreme or elite athlete by any means. I’m just your average chic who likes to bike a lot!
Share The Good.
Over the summer I found a way to put my miles to good use and did the Great Cycle Challenge to raise money for childhood cancer research.
Mid Fall I put together a women’s bike club for anyone who wanted to get out and ride regardless of bike type or experience level. It has been a blast and so rewarding to see other people fall in love with cycling. Truly makes my heart full.
I have made so many great connections and re-connections through biking. I’m in the best shape mentally and physically of my entire life and I feel like I can do anything! I no longer feel emotionally frustrated or uninspired about life. I see everyday as an opportunity to grow. Today I am proud of the woman I’ve become and I no longer strive to be someone or something else.
Believe It. Become It.
Now I’m writing about it and on a mission to share what this sport has done for me and what I believe it can do for others! The mental clarity combined with improved physical fitness all in one package is something I have never found anywhere else in fitness world, and as a former personal trainer, spin and pilates instructor I’ve been around the block so-to-speak. Cycling has elevated me to a whole other level of life. Just like my tagline says, I am truly “inspired on and off the bike.”
It’s been an amazing first year on the bike. I can’t wait to see what my second year will bring! I’ve got a pretty good idea though; more fun, love, connection, strength, goal crushing, inspiration, realness, heath and happiness!
So clearly I’m a bit biased, but if you are looking for a physical activity that may just set your soul on fire, maybe… just maybe cycling could be for you!