How Cycling Healed Me (And Will Heal You, Too)

When I first tried „Cycling“, it wasn´t love on first sight. I got pretty much hustled into it, being in a relationship with a guy who basically lives on his bike, I admit that I wasn´t doing it to look cool or be healthier, I wanted to spend time with my boyfriend and also, I wanted an exercise that would lengthen out my muscles and give me that sleek, toned look. So my intentions were at first superficial, a win-win situation, right?

Today I want to write about the physical, mental and emotional gains I have made through cycling. How it healed me and will heal you, too.

  1. Physically:

I envy people that make cycling look easy. On the contrary, cycling takes incredible strenght. At first, riding uphills and the mountains were really difficult for me. But over the weeks and months I grew more comfortable riding a bike, my background in running helped me a lot.

A year later and my initial goal didn´t satisfy me. Sure, I am fitter and lost weight. But still far away from where I want to be – no super sleek, no super toned look. I wasn´t experienced enough to have that right eat-life balance, so I was basically on diet as I always used to be. To me, it was more important to have a slim shape than being fast, so I haven´t eaten enough to gain more power. Although I had no eating disorders I was a disciplined and picky eater. But hunger makes it really really difficult.

Two years later I changed my diet and started to eat a lot. I knew that I have to eat carbs and I wasn´t feeling comfortable eating that much but my strong rides helped over the months. I amaze other people at how much I eat. I have not gained more body-fat during that year so I started to trust the system (eating carbs, cycling, eating carbs) and I was satisfied with my performance so I continued eating without doubting it twice. Riding bikes means guilt-free eating and to me, this is a great life-quality booster.

Three years later I just don´t look strong, I feel strong. And that strenght remains with you even when you don´t ride your bike. Suddenly problems that hounted me for weeks or even months, seemed like a piece of cake. I realized that as a strong capable woman, I will never need to subject myself into an abusive situation. At first my strenght manifested itself in planks and pushups, riding uphills. But over time, that strength developed into courage and insight. And also, that sleek toned look is finally in the making.

  1. Mentally:

I always thought I was a patient and tolerant person. But cycling teached me better. I found out how impatience and intolerant I used to be. I never second guessed closing an elevator door when someone was running to it or cutting someone off in traffic to save five minutes. I was hell of an impatience person. I had impulses and cycling helped me to quite the impulsive voices and become a more calm and tolerant person. It boosted my motivation in working and my ability to deal with stress. This is a progress that doesn´t happen overnight. But over the years, that mindset has overflowed all aspects of my life. Cycling is a moving meditation and I realize that my goals will slowly happen over time. I will get there when I get there. No more hectic and no more traffic jam to stress me out.

  1. Emotionally:

I almost can´t describe the feelings I have when I finish my rides. It´s a high, the fresh blood rushing through my vains and my head, I could swear, cycling reduced my signs of ageing. I look younger. It optimises the collagen production and increases the circulation, delievers oxygen and also the body becomes more efficient in regenerating new cells, and that is essential for my well-being. Instead of dwelling I find gratitude in what I do. I am grateful to be grateful.

So am I saying everyone should start cycling? No I don´t. Cycling worked wonders for me, healing me in ways I never even imagined. I fell in love (with myself, that is). I am not saying go out and try to find that too, I am not sure how that works. Everyone is different and so I can´t tell you cycling is your cure but what I want to say is that cycling is every move worthwhile and is well worth the effort. It makes life worth living.

So, breathe, enjoy and keep on pedalling.

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