helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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cycling and contemplation

I need a holiday, but I don't get on very well with days off. When I'm on my own and I've got work to do that is repetitive and tedious rather than involving a brain, I think too much, and make myself upset. It's amazing what my subconscious can dig up. I know I have some work to do on broken bits of thinking over the summer, but poking at it doesn't make it any better.

Cycling however does make me feel better. Yesterday I was feeling horrible, all blah and unable to stop thinking, and I was in tears at the time I needed to leave the house and get to work; so I took the trike instead of the bus, and it cleared my head. When you're cycling anywhere you have to stay at least semi-focused to keep the creature pointing in the right direction and doing what it's supposed to, and if you're on the road you have to stay really quite focused to stop yourself being killed. But at the same time, there are physical sensations that make you aware of your body: the wind rushing past you, the ache as muscles get used, the controlled adrenaline that keeps you going. I still can't get over how much faster cycling feels than walking or sitting on the bus - and I'm amazed to realise that's probably because I am going faster than most traffic in the town.

And when I get to wherever I'm going, I feel buzzy and awake, the way exercise is supposed to make you feel - unlike any other kind of exercise I've ever done before that's only ever left me exhausted. I hate the gym for the same reason that others love it - I'm not able to switch off my brain and just focus on the exercise, and if I try to think at the same time as exercising I get frustrated. Yoga makes me embarrassed because I can't do most of the exercises even with adaptations, and I'm too busy struggling to enjoy it. Whereas this is something that makes me feel good. And I'm amazed that I - crip me with the crap legs and back and lungs, who gets worn out walking to the end of the road [*] - got to wherever it is entirely under my own steam, and without being exhausted.

artremis told me about a nun who prays on her bicycle because it's the best place to meditate, and that makes sense to me.

[*] the Kingston end, not the Norbiton end.
Tags: note to self, tricycles

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