By Carla Alfonso of Stoller Cycling
It’s been a year and a half since I first picked up cycling. It started as a fun hobby and became a life passion. Here are the 5 things I have learned and experienced during my time riding…(and they’re things I wish someone would’ve told me!)
Kilometers, kilometers . . .
Yes, waking up at 6 a.m. and doing over a 100 km before lunch will become something normal..and it will actually feel good. It gives you such a sense of achievement! The first few times it will be draining, but then… you won’t even think a 100 km ride is that much!
Meditation doesn’t need to involve yoga pants and a mat.
Cycling has become my meditation. Riding a bicycle has become a way to travel from one town to another, but also a way to travel to places within myself. It is letting me discover my physical and mental boundaries, test my perseverance and put my commitment to practice. My bike has become my life companion. Just like a friend, it grieves with me, it motivates me on dark days and it challenges and inspires me to reach my goals.
Cycling made me become aware of my physical body. It made me feel what being ‘physically exhausted’ really meant and I became much more aware of the mind-body connection. This connection motivated me to take much more care of myself. My body has become my temple. It is a machine and it needs to be looked after to perform smoothly! Rest and proper nutrition do wonders.
The Hunger Game
Another thing I’ve noticed once I started cycling is that raging appetite. Both on and off the bike (particularly off the bike), I permanently seem to have a pit in my stomach. I’m not complaining about that one because I get to eat a good amount of food, but it forced me to learn how to eat smartly and healthfully. I soon learned that fries and burgers don’t make me feel the same way as fruit and starches do. I now opt for healthier choices and this has shown in my training performance.
Cycling is a Drug
Finally, I just need to point out how addictive cycling is. The production of endorphins it triggers, the contact with nature it provides, the social interaction with other beautiful humans, the fun, the ability to explore yourself and your limits, the freedom it gives you… I cannot take cycling out of my mind. Neither can I imagine myself in the future without a bike by my side. Cycling is a drug. If you want to get hooked on something, make it cycling! You won’t regret it.
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Photo credits: Stoller Cycling