This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ten miles a day

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?

2 comments:

Jill U Adams said...

Jackie,

This post is just right for me now. I feel myself falling into a winter's-a-coming malaise and have been feeling very lazy and tired. Haven't even thought about exercise. Even when I know that if I spend an hour outside doing just about anything I'll feel better, I still choose to sit, inside, doing not much of anything.

Why? I dunno.

How to snap out of it? To borrow a phrase: just do it. Just do it, until it becomes habit again.

The BIKE Lady said...

Yes, Jill, I can relate to that kind of malaise. I used to have this internal conversation with myself that would generally end up with me doing exactly what you're doing. Nothing. Even when I knew better. I didn't want to put forth the effort. I just didn't. You couldn't make me. It was a pretty childish attitude on my part, I know. And I didn't care, either.

I don't know if that's where your mind goes, but I recognize when I'm heading back there. It's not the me I like best. It's not my Best self.

When that internal dialogue from the past crops up within me now, I sense it, and then I break out my mental BIKE to fight it off. I think through the letters, one by one. I'm okay if a little malaise sets in, because life gets in the way. But I know it won't last now. I'm in charge now, not that internal evil twin of mine.

I make the choice to ignore her; she's not good for me.

And once I'm riding, or walking, or hiking or whatever other activity I choose for the day, I remember why again. I just do it because I feel better, and that's the point. That's good for me.

Like the hair color commercial says, "I'm worth it." And so are you.

Today, make the choice to get up and get moving. No matter what you decide works best for you, you're right: Just do it. Just for today. One day at a time. It's easier that way.

All my best,
Jackie