Lessons from Cycling

I have been cycling for 2 months now and I must say it is one of the best habits that I have gotten myself into in many years. I have had my bike for more than 8 years, but I doubt that before now I had even ridden it for more than 8 hours. I started riding that old mountain bike first on a nearby multi-use paved trail, then on the road for short distances, then I pushed myself a little further and soon I realized I needed a road bike, so I went and bought myself a road bike. When came bike month, I had an extra bit of motivation to keep riding. I did the “Bike the Creek Event” in Brampton, organized my own event and overall cycling has had a manifold positive impact on my life.

There are some lessons that I have learned from Cycling.

If it is important to you, you will make it happen

If it is important to you, you will make it happen, if not, you will find excuses. I learned this lesson when I started to invite friends to bike with me. Of course, some had genuine reasons to not come. Some were too busy to come, some had not biked in many years, some didn’t own a bike and either didn’t want to spend the money to buy one or wanted to wait for the season to be over so that they could get it cheap at a clearance event and the list goes on. These are all valid reasons, yet I find these same people are not too busy to spend countless hours watching reruns of their favourite and not so favourite TV shows, cannot wait to make an expensive purchase of things which they probably don’t even need,..so on… and you get my point. I’m not judging them; my point is, if it is important to you you will make it happen.

priorityOn the other end of the spectrum, I have a friend, who didn’t have a bike, had not ridden one in more than a decade, has a bad knee, and yet somehow managed to come ride with me on a 40KM+ stretch with multiple hills with me. He asked me if I had a spare bike which I did, he went and bought himself a helmet, put a knee sleeve to protect his knee and showed up way earlier than his usual saturday morning wakeup time. Why? In his own words: being active is important to him.

So the next time you find yourself wanting to do something, but it is not something that you are actually doing, maybe it is just not that high in your priority list, and instead of beating yourself for not doing it, just figure out where your priorities lie and question whether they are justified?

If you do what you love, you’ll start loving what you do

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Source: http://www.yalovalifeisgood.com/

Let’s face it; not everything that we do, we actually like doing let alone love doing it. Most people don’t LOVE their job, most might like it, but there are very few who actually love what they do. That is the reason people need vacations and they call it a ‘retreat’. Just google the words “meaning of retreat” and see what you get.

There might be things that you love doing, but you may not have been doing them because you have other ‘important’ things do do. If you just shifted your priorities a little and allocated some time and effort to do the things that you love, that joy and feeling of accomplishment will translate into a stress buster and sip into other areas of your life, whether it be your work, your health, your relationships, your spiritual life and more. When you make time to do what you love, you’ll end up loving what you do – I speak from personal experience! 🙂

If you push just a little more, you will go a lot further

If you push just a little more, you will go a lot further than your imagined. There have been times when my legs felt the burn, my back hurt, shoulders almost gave up, but in that moment I pushed a little more and then a little more and when I checked on my GPS, almost always I was greeted with an amazing and pleasant surprise. Sometimes I end up covering more distance than I had imagined and I usually get to something interesting.

Life is like that too. Most people give up and figuratively speaking get off their bikes or turn around and go back home to a place that’s comfortable at the sight of the slightest incline. Sometimes all it takes is a little push, a bit of hard work and we can accomplish things that you previously thought were impossible. You can apply this principle to sports and fitness, education, business and finance or any other endeavour that you can imagine.

Go the extra mile – it’s worth it!

To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done

I have seen and discovered more things about Brampton and the surrounding area in the past 4 weeks than I have in the past 4 years. I try to take different routes every time I go for a ride and every single time I’m greeted with new discoveries.

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Graffiti art under a bridge on the Humber River Recreational Trail

For the Bike The Creek event, I took my bike with me on the Brampton Transit bus which I had never done before. I used the presto card for the first time and I was amazed at how much better the bus ride has become over the past 7 or 8 years.

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Ride and Bike, using the Presto card on the Brampton Transit for the first time en route to “Bike The Creek” Event.

To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done – If you think about it, isn’t this true for life in general. Why is it that you have never had the kind of house, car, income, relationship, body, spirituality that you truly desire? If you keep doing what you have always been doing, you will get what you have always gotten. A great definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over gain and expecting a different result.

If you don’t want to fall, you gotta keep moving

Just recently I taught a friend in their 20s how to ride a bicycle. Most people learn how to ride a bicycle early on in their life, but it’s never too late to learn anything new. I noticed that this person was afraid to fall and so was trying to move slowly. I told them the key is to keep moving, if you stop or slow down you will fall, you have to keep pedalling if you want to stay up.

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Picture taken on Humber Station Road en route to Albion Hills. (Photoshoped motion blur)

Then it hit me! Isn’t that a great lesson in life? You have to keep moving, whatever happens in life, good or bad, you have to keep moving forward. If something bad happens to you whether it is a heart break, divorce, someone dumps you, someone betrays your trust, you are faced with financial difficulty, you are having health issues, you got fired from work, you end up in an embarrassing situations, or whatever the case maybe, you have to move on with your life sooner or later. If you stop and keep thinking about the bad things that happened, you’ll fall deeper into depression, negativity, anger and it’ll be harder to get back up again.

Likewise if something good happens in life, a promotion, graduation, you achieve your health goal, get married, fall in love whatever the case may be, you still have to keep moving to the next step. If you stop and spend all your time wanting to stay in that same moment, life will pass by and you won’t even realize and you will fall. Celebrating your victories is an important part of life, but wanting to stay in that moment forever is merely wishful thinking.

What is the opposite of movement? Stagnation. Stagnation is death. Think about it. How do you know if someone is dead. You identify it by them not moving, their pupils won’t move or react to light variations, their heart won’t move – no heart beat, their brains seizes to function, blood doesn’t flow through the body.

Life is movement.

The Story of My Life

You are in line at the bank and when finally your turn comes to get served, you find that the bank teller does not greet you with a smile, does not answer your question properly and you generally find their attitude very rude. You decide that that person is just a rude person and then carry on with your day.

While on the way home you pass a person, your eyes lock and they smile, you smile back. Momentarily you feel joy, maybe you think of that person as being nice, or you feel better about yourself thinking, “I must be looking good today” and then you simply let the thought fade away as quickly and quietly as it arrived and continue on your journey home.

You are  living in the story of your life experiencing events unfolding one moment at a time. Your path crosses with the paths of others. They make your life’s experience richer, give you love, joy, annoy you and sometimes even hurt you. You are experiencing intimately and with full attentiveness the story of your life. You live a complex, multidimensional life with emotions, situations, relationships with the people close to you and the relationship with your self. Every situation that you are in is unique, and sometimes people don’t understand you and sometimes they do. No matter what happens how it happens, only you will fully experience and understand the complexity of your life and everyone that you have ever met, heard, saw, or experienced their existence in any form or manner is merely an extra in the story of your life,… and so am I.

maxresdefaultWe all experience life in this way. In our experience we are at the centre of our Universe and everyone else is a distance star, a tiny specific woven into the fabric of our life. Other people that come into our life momentarily or for a longer duration from our telescopic perception live single dimensional and predictable lives, they have general personality traits – this person is a nice person, this one is mean or rude, this one is  a complete @$$ hole etc.. These extras in the story of your life serve a person, mostly a single purpose, and sometimes more than that, but they occupy a very tiny portion of your life.

But in fact these extras don’t live such simple lives. They live a rich complex life filled with emotions, ambitions, disappointments, love, hate, regrets, situations that make them grow, or constraint them. They do good things, they do bad things, sometimes they do things they can’t explain, and sometimes they do things that they can and do explain.

Every person that crosses your path may be an extra in your life, but know that you are also merely an extra in theirs.

Be Crazy, Be Stupid, Dare a Little, Live a Little More Than You Would By Being Sane

It has been a little over 6 months since I last updated my blog. I had a long list of things I wanted to write about, excited about the thoughts and ideas swirling in my head and then the unexpected happened. I got into a car accident … well no one really plans an accident, so yes I’m just stating the obvious unexpectedness, but it happened. I lost my car and with it my motivation to write. I was out of work for more than 2 months. I loved that car – there are many remarkable and fun memories and some living in the realm of unmentionables.

spring-fitnessBut that’s not really the point of this post. I had also stopped almost all forms of physical activity after my accident. Today was the first day I went out for a jog since then. I recently bought a Misfit Flash, a fitness tracker(more on that and other stuff in the next few posts). There is a jogging/cycling trail near my home. As I was climbing one of the hilly portions of the trail I saw 3 boys in their mid teens. I also saw a shopping cart roll down the hill and crash into the railings of a small bridge.

As I came closer I could see the looks on their faces, trying to gauge my response to what had just conspired anticipating perhaps some remark about the negative consequence of such actions. In my mind all I could think was “thankfully these kids are outside and not having a heated conversion on high scores on their XBox Game Card or something (to the gamers: yes, I know that one didn’t make complete sense – that’s exactly my point).

As I passed them, I yelled out,

” You should get in it and roll down the hill!”

From jackass-the-movie
From jackass-the-movie

The look on their faces was nothing less than priceless. There was a moment of confusion as they looked at me, then at each other, bewildered and amazed by the inception of an idea that a stranger had just sparked in their minds. Perhaps it was a moment of disbelief as they came to terms with the fact that an adult had just told them to do something that may get them into trouble and something that was potentially dangerous. The youngest and least tainted by the experiences of rules realized that this stranger, this adult was actually serious about the idea and the possible fun factor of this potentially hazardous idea spoke out electrified.

“YAH Guys! Let’s do it”

I didn’t get a chance to see what I had hoped to happen actually happen before I jogged past them. After I had jogged about 50 meters, I looked over my shoulder only to see the boys walking up the hill, the two older ones with their bicycles and the younger one with a skateboard in his hand.

I was disappointed!

At that moment, those kids decided not to be crazy, not to be stupid and not to dare, not to create a memory that they some day might have talked about or simply thought about.

They will never have that memory because they chose not to create it.

How many times have you let your saner head prevail? How many times have you taken the ‘right turn’ because a ‘map’ in your head told you that any other way might just be wrong? How many times have you dared not to act foolishly in fear of embarrassing yourself in the eyes of your peers, or strangers that don’t even matter? I could ask many of these question and you would answer them in any number of ways possible.

At every turn in your life either a spark of adventure will live or a small part of your life will leave.

Be Crazy, Be Stupid, Dare a Little, Live a Little More Than You Would By Being Sane.

I leave you with the inspirational music to my dare seeking eyes and wisdom to my inquisitive soul.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

– Helen Keller