My friend Robin kept trying different exercise programs, but nothing seemed to stick. Some soul searching reminded her that her happiest exercise days were 20 years before when she did extensive bicycle touring. Rather than thinking it would be impossible to regain the fitness that came with that pasttime, she decided to immerse herself in bicycle activities so that it would become a LIFE-style. Here is what she has done so far and ways she balanced the potential expense of the sport. I hope this information helps you think about the challenge of getting back in shape a little more creatively and positively.
1. Get a bike…Unfortunately her favorite bicycle had been stolen so she started with a huge flea market known for having many bicycles. Luckily, she spotted an old bicycle that had some features of her favorite bike and it was even the right size.
2. Knowledge is power… the bike needed work and she didn’t want to worry about breaking down on the side of the road, she signed up for bicycle repair classes. These days there all all sorts of options, ranging from the Park Tool school offered at many local bike shops to free bicycle repair seminars at outdoors stores (think REI).
3. Ride every day… she keeps her bicycle clothes next to the bed so she is sure to wear them first thing in the morning while waking up over a cup of coffee. It is an excellent motivator to get on the bike for a quick exercise ride before work. After just two months of doing this every day, colleagues at work remarked that there was something noticeably different about her look and energy.
4. Reinforce during non-riding time…there are great videos on YouTube for every aspect of cycling imaginable and they are FREE. This has proven to be a great way to increase her knowledge on everything from conditioning to more sophisticated bike repairs.
5. Scheme and dream… she is finally thinking that a tour may be in her future. Since she will need a better bicycle to go long distances, she has a new hobby of fixing up old ten speed bicycles people give away and turning them around for modest prices. This is expanding her confidence and knowledge of classic bicycles and it is building a fund for her next touring bicycle.
I’ve never heard Robin complain about needing to ride the way I hear people complain about needing to go to the gym. I think all of these steps have been key to her continued improvement and can be applied to any quest to become healthier and happier!
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