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cycling and contemplation - helen-louise
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.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
epi_lj From: epi_lj Date: 21st June 2006 02:47 (UTC) (Link)
Cycling has much the same effect on me, and I also didn't respond the same to most other forms of exercise. (Perhaps frisbee and DDR were similar for me, but not exactly.) During NaNoWriMo, I got most of my ideas for stories while cycling, because it was a good place to muse. In the winter, cycling on snow is the most in-the-moment thing I've done.
keldaryth From: keldaryth Date: 21st June 2006 09:23 (UTC) (Link)
Hiya! Glad cycling helps you relax a bit! Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY for today, the 21st - you're about 10 hours behind me so you've still got 3 hours to go... BUT HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!


hiddenpaw From: hiddenpaw Date: 21st June 2006 09:33 (UTC) (Link)
When I used to cycle to work on my bike I used to come up with loads of great songs and ideas of how to do cover virsions that were actualy worth listening to. Trouble was when I got home and in to a possition to write things down it would all fly my mind. One thing I learned very well in the prison service is that adrenalin plays with the mind and although posertive in some ways really knobles your memory of the time your adrenalin was pumping.
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