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.

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.