Insert the music of Queen and “Bicycle Race,” better yet sing it! “Bicycle, Bicycle, Bicycle… I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like!” This song came to mind Sunday when I was restless and knew it was time to really move! My mind was racing too much, and my body was screaming for some attention. On went the stretched out padded shorts, the helmet and down came the well-worn Cannondale Black Lightening circa 1985, yes my bike is that old… all 19#’s and shimona shifting 15 clicking gears! It’s been through a few tire changes, wrecks and has toured many more miles than I can remember in multiple states. I used to ride a–l-o-t!
There are times when nothing will quite clear my mind as being on my bike, and yes a solitary journey is called for at such times, but then I am never alone. Sunday was a mind clearing day in many ways as the push of my feet against the pedals, turned the wheels and propelled me forward on the bike path, separating myself from the flash of the computer, the hum of the TV, the staleness of being in air conditioner air. The distractions of the open trails, cool breeze a few rain drops and wide open space helped the lines on my face and the cob webs in my head fade… or maybe it was the wind stretching my cheeks. lol
I realized that the past year, with the challenges that I had faced, that the message I started to teach with the concept of R3Wellness; Refresh, Revive, Renew… Mind, Body, Spirit, had somehow quit being an important daily teaching to myself. I had given in to aches and pains, both physical and emotional. I gave myself too much permission not to push active exercise, and called chilling out watching movies and eating emotionally “as rest.” WHAT? How was that refreshing? I was filling my mind with “crap” often, and even though my emotional eating was no longer gallons of ice cream, but endless bowls of popcorn or healthy “snacks”, over eating is over eating! Although I still believe no one ever got fat eating a rainbow of veggies, I had stepped over my line. I wasn’t sleeping well, and instead of using my knowledge of stretching, turning off, and tuning into my body, trying “legs up the wall” a very relaxing yoga move! I flipped from one end of the couch to the other… note to self, try this instead!
Instead of turning to prayer, meditation and renewing my mind with truth (for me that is God’s truth, His word). I let my Bible sit collecting dust, and chose to go through the motions of my faith instead of choosing to talk to God and allow healing to happen.
I miss riding my bike without a helmet and really letting the wind blow through me, but the moments weren’t missed on Sunday, and like so many rides I have taken on the trails and roads across this country, I headed home with positive thoughts creeping in, clearer thoughts, and the ache in the bum, and shoulders felt good. I needed to make sure I had the energy to get home, because at the end of this ride was a 2 mile uphill climb. At the turn around I downed some water and sent a text to the family, yes it is good to let people know where you are when you venture out on your own! (um, insert that this goes for those times when emotionally you are hurting, sometimes you need to reach out to those who know you well and will listen). The wind was against me as I turned around pushed on. There was an annoying click that I couldn’t locate and fix, but I kept on, choosing to focus on the beauty around me. The rolling clouds above, with the clear blue sky, the Little Miami river flowing alongside the path and the occasional smile from a fellow explorer. I was reminded how the past year had been a journey, traveling a path that I wasn’t quite sure of, trying to navigate the way, not always using the resources that were “right there.” Just as I had learned long ago in biking; how to conserve energy, or ramp it up, how to climb a hill, how to coast well, stay hydrated, stay safe… but always to enjoy the ride, even with an annoying noise occasionally, so it is with life, it will be challenging, it will have hills, valleys, creaky noises, but there is much beauty around, if only you choose to look… and use the resources to fuel yourself for the journey ahead on those unknown, unexplored paths.
Lesson learned, and I am sure I will need to learn it again, and again! Recently I listened to a podcast that spoke to teaching/sharing, this person suggested that you teach what you want to learn, what you are passionate about. You are always one step ahead of another who might want be on the same path and need a guide or someone to walk with them. So I put my feet/hand to the pedal/ the keyboard, and I start sharing again, what I learn; the success and the stumbles and hope that you might join me, no longer a solo rider, but taking that journey to optimal health, Mind, Body, Spirit… Refresh your thoughts on food/health, Revive your body to move and eat well, Renew your spirit through truth.