Yesterday was cool and clear here in Florida. We’ve had record highs for October
so the crisp autumn air was a welcome treat. Biking for me is not a summer activity so I've missed it! My hubby and I hopped on our bikes
about 9am and pedaled off to do errands: banking, video store, and the library.
A six mile loop that brings us back home in about an hour.

The morning was invigorating and I couldn’t help grinning as
I was pedaling—it felt great to be alive! I felt energized using my whole body
and being outdoors gave me a feeling of connectivity I miss when I exercise
indoors. We wound our way through neighborhoods and commercial areas and along
busy roads. We chose a different route and did our loop in reverse actually:
library, video, bank and found a new road we hadn’t been down before. Biking
gives the illusion of excessive speed, especially downhill; it feels like you’re zipping
along but compared to a car the pace is so much slower. I had time to notice
people, houses, interesting things in people’s yards and wonder about their
lives. Really wonder.

Biking fun As I was pedaling that new path I had an ‘aha’ moment,
discovery, epiphany, and almost yelled Eureka:
How I ride my bike is how I live my life.
This is so powerful and true! I hop on looking for adventure, making the choice
to make exercise fun. I say hello to people I pass—especially those with dour
expressions. It often makes them smile! I look for new routes and take ‘the
road less traveled’. I look for opportunities to ride my bike—where else can I
go? How far is too far?

At first I was intimidated by the traffic and city biking. I
thought it would be dangerous and was hesitant and nervous. I’d decided it
wouldn’t be fun and it wasn’t. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by courteous
drivers who let us pass—even back up if they’re blocking the sidewalk. I have
had to take my narrow focus (blinders) and broaden it so I’m aware of all of my
surroundings. I’ve stretched myself out of that fearful negative space and discovered the joy.

I bike like I live—with an open joyful heart. And because of
my attitude I’ve experienced this form of exercise as delightful. When I was a
child I didn’t learn to ride without training wheels until I was ten—fear and
self doubt kept me grounded. My dad, bless his heart, was there for me. He gave
me the gift of trust and didn’t ‘let go’ of my bike until I was ready. I trusted him and learned to trust myself and my
ability. The reward was immeasurable freedom—wind beneath my feet and in my
face! And the freedom of traveling anywhere my two legs could pedal those two
wheels; adventure awaited me and it still awaits every time I hop on my bike.

Now you: Is exercise bliss or torture? What form of exercise
brings you, or might bring you, freedom and joy?