I don’t do the whole getting fit thing. My physique tells people I’m fit…….tall, thin and kind of athletic looking but that’s where it ends. I do very little. Well, I walk a couple of miles a day, but that’s it. That’s where my fitness regime ends. It’s not really through lack of want either. I would quite happily go to the gym if I didn’t have to pay money I just don’t have.
Anyway, we were out walking with the kids about a year ago and a family cycled past us. That was it….simple as that. It was in my head and we had to do it. Long story short, I got a bike for my birthday. She’s white with a mermaid type shimmer on her……..But I was absolutely terrified to go out on her. I hadn’t been cycling since I was about 9, so we’re talking 30 years. It was like learning all over again.
I put obstacle after obstacle in my way. I don’t have the right clothes…It’s too cold…It looks like rain…honestly, it was ridiculous. Confidence is something I had in abundance when I was younger but it seems to have dwindled away over the years. But once I got over that and actually got out there, I knew this was the best thing I’d done in ages. And the saying is right – ‘it’s like riding a bike’ – you don’t forget.
I did a few small trips out with my most understanding daughter, who talked me through my little wobbles, getting to grips with gears and actually turning the handle bars to go around the corner haha.
As well as going out with the family, there’s a group of us girls that go out. Not too far, not too fast, but out. It can be social or solitary. I can do it with the family, with my friends or completely alone. I don’t drive although I do have a driver (Mr H) haha, but this is a way for me to do something for myself. I can go places without bothering someone else…a little bit of independence rediscovered.
I can’t believe that it’s taken me until now to realise how much I love it. Cycling along the Tyne and feeling the wind rippling my top and racing through my hair (yes I do wear a helmet). Riding through the trees and seeing the leaves falling like huge snowflakes. Feeling the burn in my legs trying to get up that last hill, cheeks flushed, heart pounding. I feel so far removed from the world and my life.
It’s a get out, an escape that I never knew I needed until now.
My confidence is coming back.
My belief in myself is getting stronger as is my body.