Monday, April 12, 2010

Cycling for Balance?

Someone told me something interesting today. She said she once heard someone explain how cycling was a sport of balance and how it helped people achieve balance in their life. She thought this made a lot of sense and she shared it with me when I told her about my recent thoughts about the place running should have in my life priorities.

I believe this is a great image. When I ride my bike, I think about the difficult things in my life, whether they are problems or negative emotions. Because I need to pay attention to what I'm doing while riding my bike, I never give full attention to my thoughts and I usually achieve a state of mind where I observe my thoughts without judging them - the same thing we're supposed to do while meditating. Sometimes, I feel like the answers to my problems just pop into my head without me working really hard to make them happen. Other times, I feel like I'm leaving the negative emotions behind by making sense of them while I ride.

The interesting part is that I think my life got so out of balance last fall after I stopped riding my bike. I thought the bad stuff just happened, but I now think that maybe riding my bike was helping me process some feelings that I simply could not process after I stopped riding. I then got overwhelmed by my negative feelings and simply could not manage anymore!

I always thought running kept me sane by helping me evacuate the bad stuff before it made me sick (stress, anger, guilt, frustration, etc.) and that swimming kept me running. I don't think I've ever found a purpose for cycling, except going from point A to point B, but I'm now starting to wonder if cycling is the more important sport of the three?

Friday, April 09, 2010


I am starting to get into running again. I feel so good after a run and not just because of the crazy endorphins boost I get. I feel better about where I am in life, more content about the positive things that surround me. I also feel so much better in my skin when I am active!

About a year ago, two sedentary people told me that running and triathlon training in general were too big a priority for me and that I should probably seek a better balance between training and doing other things. I heard what these women were saying and I started thinking that maybe running, swimming and biking so much was not such a good thing for me. I decided to do other things as well, and as a result, I ran and swam a lot less. Sure, I enjoyed cooking great meals, seeing my non-running friends and doing scrapbooking, but all those things didn't really make me feel a lot better about myself and more comfortable in my own skin.

I now realize that I don't live the typical life of a 32 year-old and therefore, I shouldn't let the people who live that life (married, full-time job and kids) define what would be a balanced lifestyle for me, in my current situation.

I really lost track of what felt good for me in the past 2 years and I'm only now realizing how important it is for my physical and mental health as well as my overall well-being that I remain active. I can't be a good friend if I don't feel good about myself. I can't be a supportive partner if I hate myself. I can't be a happy employee if I'm always over-stressed because I'm not allowing myself to dig head-on into exercise when I'm under a lot of pressure at work.

For my own sake, running has to come back to the front burner from now on, no matter what others think.