Ten miles a day on my bike. That's my regular routine exercise these days. I go through phases, though, where I might pick riding. Or I might walk. Or I'll hike up a mountain. But I must do something physical.
I've learned to pay attention to what my body wants and needs. It wants and needs exercise. Without it, I lack the energy I need to get through the day.
That once made no sense to me whatsoever. I wondered, how can you gain energy by using it? Why wouldn't you just be more tired? But it's like this: The more you do something, the more you get used to it. And if it's good for you, all the better. I just didn't want to see it that way back then. I was stubborn.
But I exercise now because I know I must. It's no longer me who's stubborn, it's my body. My body requires it, demands it even. If I let my body down and try to skip a day or two or more, my body lets me know about it. THAT'S when I'm tired. THAT'S when I lack focus. THAT'S when I do less than what I can. "Hah!" My body says to me, "You can go without exercise, but if you do, I'll make you pay!"
And so it is. I follow orders.
I nearly proved my body wrong once, though. When I first started riding my bike in 2002, I was beat after a ride--and those were short rides. No more than two miles. They killed! But then they didn't. It didn't take long, maybe a month or two, before my body wore my mental toughness down, allowing me to actually enjoy and look forward to the rides. My body made me change my focus to a more positive one. It tricked me, really.
It tricked me to the point where I can now say that two miles would never do anything for me. That would be like me saying I'm going to enjoy a bag of jelly beans, but I only eat two jelly beans--Just two, out of one of bag, the same color, even. Hel-lo! Where's the enjoyment in that?! Two would not be enough. Not. At. All. And the same color?! Bah!
But ten jelly beans, now you're talking! I could actually enjoy 10. It wouldn't be too much. I could eat 10 different colors. I could make a pattern and eat two of five colors. I could even eat all 10, all at once. With 10, I'd have enough to get creative.
It's like that for me with 10 miles on the bike. With only two, I can only do so much. But with 10 miles, I can change things up. I can create something with that. And it gives me time to think, to relax, to create a pattern, to veg out, to get a good enough work out that I'm sweating. Ten miles isn't too difficult.
But it's still going to be a good enough ride. I've learned what works for me. Ten miles on the road gives me the oomph I need to muscle through a difficult assignment back in the office. It helps me get away from a bothersome contract or digest a challenging issue that I might need to address but would rather not. It gives me the time away, the freedom to let my mind wander and think through what I need to do. In two miles, I would not have time for that. I would be rushed.
These are good reasons to take up riding. These are good reasons to give yourself 10 miles a day. It's good for your mind, body and soul. It's a BIKE path worth taking.
What do you think?