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Here are some life lessons from cycling daily, which I might not have learnt if I had not taken up this exhilarating form of sport.
I took up cycling as means to shed some extra pounds sitting on my waist. In no time, cycling became my passion and it is now an integral part of my active life.
Well, this post is not about the health benefits of cycling, which are more obvious than obvious could be. It is more than that. It is about the precious life lessons that cycling taught me, in the process lending me a whole new perspective.
In today’s fast world, we are in a constant struggle to outdo others and accumulate more than others. We are so fast paced that we fail to notice and appreciate small things that add deep value to our lives.
Sometime back I befriended a gorgeous black stray dog, whom I call Danna. She wags her tail, licks me and escorts me till the bend every morning. Danna has been around since many months, but I began noticing her only when I began the ritual of opening the gate and dusting my cycle before my ride every day. Earlier, I would get into my car in a hurry and zoom off to work without even acknowledging anyone, leave alone Danna.
Now, being greeted by Danna is one of the most pleasurable way I begin my morning, and I actually look for her if I don’t see her around. We have built a relationship.
You may not know, but here are always some good people standing by to help you get up when you fall. Sometimes when cycling long distance, we tread off on unknown roads. Tripping, falling and bruising are a part and parcel of the game. The world is full of goodness, and many good souls will rush to help you get up and dust, and resume your journey.
In our hasty lives, we seldom have time to see the good side of people, most of whom are strangers who touch our lives in uncanny little ways.
You are never really alone in life. There is always the company of well-wishers and friends, who will make it a point to be alongside you, in times of distress and need, even if they can’t do much to help directly.
Their presence will make the hardships a little more bearable and the obstacles a little less dreadful.
We assume that getting tired and acknowledging it is a sign of failure. On the contrary, it only means you have been trying hard, very hard. And most people understand that. We live in our own forts and fight our own demons. When we are tired and need a hand to hold, God almost always strategically places an angel to help us through.
By not being tired, we not only run the risk of burning out but also miss the opportunity to see our angels.
We take greater care of our cars and bikes than we do of our body and soul. We do not forget the servicing date of our car, but live perpetually with anger, ego, jealousy and hostility, engulfed in which our soul rots to death. We do not feel the need to attend to our body or soul, unless the poor thing break down and yells for help. A sick leave is all that we have to offer.
Like every machine, our body and soul too need ongoing maintenance and servicing to function smoothly. Taking well timed breaks, sabbaticals and time-offs will not only help the body rejuvenate but will also revitalize our mind empowering it to achieve greater heights and unleashing its maximum potential.
A good friend and a cycling enthusiast once said to me that riding up on mountains is like ‘deposits’, and are inevitably followed by slopes going down, which is the ‘interest’. So to enjoy the interest, you need to make deposits.
Well, in life also, every difficult phase is adequately compensated with a merry time when the sun shines bright. The zen state when we believe ‘this too shall pass’ makes life much more meaningful.
We are so obsessed about having a bigger house, a better car and fancier vacation that we forget to understand the very purpose of these. The material things are only a means to the destination, not the destination itself. We forget to live life in its real essence and enjoy the journey along with our co-travellers. The real beauty lies in the roads and the flowerbeds alongside.
Being ambitious and competitive is not a bad thing as long as it has a component of self-development and gives us intrinsic happiness and joy. However, more often than not, we become bitter and hostile in our endeavour to beat the best.
A healthy competition soon becomes an awful fight to excel and in the process, even if we achieve what we had set out for, we have lost many friends on the way and missed many opportunities to smell the roses.
We often hesitate to tread alone. When I started I would look for company, but that was not always possible. After some initial inhibitions I started going solo on short distances. Now I can go solo for long. In fact I enjoy doing solo as much as I enjoy riding with a group. Solo rides are therapeutic and give me a lot of confidence.
Fear of the unseen must not hold us back from walking alone.
Every time we ride on a new track or route we come back with many new stories and memories. New roads also mean challenges in terms of unfamiliar terrain and threats, but they also mean new possibilities. For some taking new roads is a matter of choice and for some it is the only option life throws at them. Whatever I the case, we ought to walk with confidence, hope and a plan only to make every step count.
The unseen could be way better than the seen.
So, when did you last smell the rose or walk on a new road?
Published here earlier.
Image source: publicdomainpictures.net
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I am a 37-year-young mother, writer, dreamer, fitness enthusiast and...oh yes, an
Great article Namrata! Such a great way to view cycling (I speak as a fellow biking enthusiast)
Thanks a bunch Nikhila! Feels great to be acknowledged by a fellow rider, because you have the same set of experience and can relate to my words on a more experiential level. Cheers!
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