Bicycling For Emotional Wellness

Most of the time when I ride, it is simply to get some exercise or to go on a bike-pack trip and enjoy my time.

On occasion, I just need to get away and clear my emotions. Biking is the greatest way for me to calm down. The combination of physical activity, fresh air, and solitude does me wonders.

There is one time in particular when I house sat for my mom. It was a couple years after my dad had passed away. I was walking through her woods when sadness hit me with such force it was overwhelming. My dad had passed away a couple years earlier. His presence within and outside the house was still strong. His absence drove me to tears.

I had to get away so I hopped on the spare bike I keep at her house. It was a pleasantly cool autumn day. Soft warmth from the sun casting its rays onto my face was soothing. Further down the road, my focus turned to the beauty that God created that day.

I found myself talking to God, thanking him for his wonderful art. Then I said that I did not understand why he took my dad away so soon, but was grateful for the years he was with us.

God has his reasons, and many times his reasons are beyond understanding. It is hard to accept sometimes, but it is a part of life. Yes, I miss my dad and still think about him with fond memories, but choose not to dwell in the past. Dwelling in the past keeps a person from living in the present.

Best I Did Not Go

Bob got home last week from his bike-pack trip in Costa Rica. During the time Bob was gone, I wished I was with Bob instead of here, working. It is the first time that the work schedule, which is pretty flexible, did not pan out for me.

In the end, Bob said it was best I had not gone this time. One reason was that new route he tackled. The one that sheared the cleats on his cycling shoes. When I saw the condition of them, my eyes about bugged out. That was some major straining on them to have that kind of damage done.

The other reason Bob said it was best I did not go, is because of an area we intended on exploring together the first time we were there. Photos can be quite deceiving. When I looked on-line, photos showed a beautiful area. Climbing the succession of massive hilly dirt roads is not worth the effort. Bob said the area is a bit dumpy. There is nothing really there to see.

We don’t always get to do what we want, or what we THINK we want. As usual, God’s plans always ends up to be the better one.

My time here alone gave me a chance to take the hardest look at myself I ever did in my life. You probably heard the phrase, “what goes around, comes around.” Well, this was a case of “what goes around, comes around, and goes around again.” This was between one friend and me.

A sudden string of bad treatment towards me caused me to retaliate back at that person. God intervened and hit me hard to the core. I realized that after I had some time to think about things and thought, “Is that why I had that one ultra stupid moment? Because God wanted to teach me a lesson?” My thought then was that two wrongs don’t make a right.  I said, “Okay God, I get it. I learned my lesson.”

God opened my eyes extra-wide about myself this time. To make amends, I called that person just to talk, and it turned out that I was also able to help out in a situation. It was in God’s perfect plan that I had called at that moment. I must say that I felt much better after making amends.

From now on, I hope that I am able to maintain being the person that God wants me to be, rather than what I had been.

Serenity

Every day, every season, is rejoiced. God created them and I wake up every morning and recite Psalm 118:24. It gives me a positive frame of mind to remind me that even if things get a little rough, I will get through it.

A day of skiing two years ago was exceptionally divine. Serenity surrounded me as I skied through the tunnels of fresh, snow-laden trees. Within the tunnels, my thoughts turned to God and how he created all the beauty around me. I thanked him for those blessings. Quiet and solitude allowed me to feel God’s presence like I never felt before. I silently poured out my thoughts, to rejoice and praise the Lord for all he has done. My spirit felt fresh and renewed with the grace that God had given me.

God’s presence is always felt when I am outside. Whether it is bicycling, camping, hiking, skiing, or canoeing, he is there. God is the greatest artist whose work is constantly changing. To look for daily changes is delightful.

By now you might think I am always in a happy mood. No, I am not. Regrets still occasionally haunt me, sad days still hit me, and there are grumpy days. It is especially during those times I think on that one day of skiing. Why a winter day over the other three seasons? Fresh snow, being pure white, gives me a sense of renewal and hope.