Feeling rubbish? Had a bad day at work? Something on your mind? GET OUT ON YOUR BIKE or at least indulge yourself in some form of exercise. I’m the last person that I thought would be exercise’s advocate but it really does make worlds of difference.
I think that I have always been pretty late to the party in terms of exercise – I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was about nine, taught myself to ‘run’ only a couple of years ago using the ‘Couch-to-5k’ podcasts and have never played a sport competitively. I don’t think I have ever seen exercise as something to do but more as a tax on my time as a result of eating/drinking too many calorific items.
However, this morning when I clipped into my pedals, each rotation seemed to help to melt away tensions I had been holding. Rather than a tax on my time, cycling seems to be a special time, almost a reward where I am able to escape to my own private world (so long as I keep alert enough to adhere to the Green Cross Code and dodge the maniacs who don’t).
In fact, I was enjoying myself so much this morning that I had completed a third of my second lap around Richmond Park before I had realised my error – I only had enough time for one loop before rehearsals so I was a little worried. You would have thought that I would have clicked when I saw the cafe but instead I thought to myself, “Ooh I didn’t realise that there was another cafe on the other side of the park.” and I became distracted at the sight of a former pupil and his family in their matching tri-suits and pushed on. It was only once I had nailed the ‘big hill’ for the second time that my blondeness dawned upon me.
Thank goodness I clocked my fastest average speed to date! No longer can I claim the title of, “slowest cyclist south of the river” – granted, I was overtaken many times by swarms of club cyclists on their bikes which probably weigh less than the lock I carry on my pannier rack BUT, this time, I did my own fair share of overtaking. I overtook on the hills, the flats and the downs and I overtook burly men.
So, though I am still very slow, I am making progress, and I am loving it and I feel like I have finally found my zone. I just wonder – what demons am I going to have in New Zealand? I hope I don’t get too bored and lonely without rehearsals, reports and relocation to talk to myself about!
PS. I know that the original is ‘exorcise your demons’ – I was just trying to be punny.