I have always loved cycling. The freedom of speed is an exhilarating feeling, it gives you wings!
I must have been 3 or 4 when I got my first cycle — a tricycle… Mom tells me that I drove her mad riding the tricycle at home all the time, hitting everything in sight. That she would have to chase me around to feed me!
Then I got a bit older.. I asked for a cycle. Dad said not now. So I stopped eating(yeah I know.. My poor parents) until dad got me a cycle. But he didn’t take me to buy the cycle, he got it home one day. He knew I may go for the most expensive one in the shop, without rhyme or reason.
Well the younger me made peace with that. Anytime I tell stories like these from my childhood, my friends go “A single child, no siblings… You were too pampered”. They’re probably right.
So, I got a brand new Hercules MTB 9000. Yes, I know the full name. No, I did not worship it. Okay, maybe just a little bit :-) The first few months, I used to get on my bike and just go exploring. I loved the wind in my face. And the freedom to keep going on and on.
Take a right. Take a left. Get lost. Keep going till I couldn’t go on anymore.
That deep satisfaction of pedalling without thinking and letting my mind wander through its myriad ways was satisfaction indeed. I’ve realised that the time I spend on my cycle wandering the city is when my mind is completely free. It doesn’t have enough time to worry, but just enough to be free of thinking!
Then I got too old for my cycle. All the kids had bikes and mopeds. So I gave my cycle to my younger cousins. And then went on to do engineering. And then work. Six years of IT went by in a flash. Work. Party. Party. Work. Sometimes life keeps going on. And on. And you keep trying to catch up.
Until the day I hit 30. I felt old. Not because of 30, but because I was feeling unfit. Okay fine, because of 30 too. I had put on a couple of pounds, and was feeling too well rounded. I checked my weight one day and I was 66. 66?! I tried to cut down on food and booze. Didn’t work. That tends to happen when you reduce one meal and hog the next two.
Finally, I decided. I’m going to buy a cycle. I was in Pondy with a couple of friends and they observed that I was getting chubbier.
I got it on Jan 28, 2015. I rode it back from Decathlon and all the long lost feelings from my childhood came rushing back. I started cycling right from the next day. Though my interest in cycling keeps waxing and waning every few days, I’ll always cycle.
It’s the one time of the day I’m alone and my mind is ready to have a conversation about all the shit that I don’t want to deal with. I love to ride till my legs give out. This is when my mind offers the least resistance to thinking about the deep stuff, without even trying. I find solutions to my problems, almost out of thin air. Yeah, I know, me and my euphemisms :)
And the high I get after a session of cycling is heavenly. I’m more positive, even though my legs are killing me. I can think of more things to do. I get more ideas for blogging. I can finally make the decisions I’ve been putting off for weeks.
Believe me, it’s not easy to maintain a cycling schedule through all the things life keeps throwing at you. There are so many things begging for your attention. And to have that constant motivation to keep pushing yourself is tough. You gotta keep telling yourself to not give up.
Buy a cycle. Start going to biking trips organised in your area. Meet new people. They will inspire you to push your limits.
For me it’s cycling. For you, it can be anything.
Take what you love, and make it into a daily affair. Cycling, jogging, working out, cricket, football or whatever physical activity you did in your school or college. Make it a part of your routine. It’ll keep you fit and motivated!
Eat healthy. Live a healthy life. It’ll make the rest of your life — personally and professionally — better too.