In a recent post, I shared about how I create quality 'me-time' and calm spaces in the day to connect and relax. Even living a simple permaculture life, these 'breathing moments' are so incredibly important to keep me balanced and focussed in amongst the daily chaos of raising 3 young children, running a business and a foundation, and volunteering actively in my community.
Possibly one of the most important renewal times during my week is riding my bike. I just absolutely love it. I have a retro steely bicycle that was a gift from my parents when I turned 21. It was custom made for me by a small artisanal bike shop in Melbourne and it fits me like a glove.
My beloved Hillman - 25 years old but so quiet, smooth and light.
I feel so happy when I am riding. It clears the cobwebs in my mind, blows away negative thoughts, detangles my body knots and connects me with the world around me. I notice subtle changes around me as a move through the landscape - the seasons, different sounds in nature. I talk to the cows, the birds and the kangaroos I pass.
Sometimes I chant afffirmations to the rhythm of the pedalling. Sometimes I make up a song and sing it out to the valley. Sometimes I sort out a challenge I have grappled with all day, or find the idea that has been alluding me - the solution just pops into my brain. Some of my best lesson plans for workshops have been designed out on my rides.
At the moment I only ride 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week but this seems enough. I try to weave this into our family routine, like dropping my son at school, or going to the kids' tennis class. I ride the 10km country lane to school while Evan drives the kids. We swap and he rides home. This is a luxury of working at home together. When Evan was working full time, I found it so hard to weave in exercise time and I felt sluggish.
As an added bonus, when I started riding regularly again, I dropped 10 kgs over a couple of months without changing my diet. My body just needed to move more - and more rapidly than child pace!
When I ride my bicycle regularly I feel fit and strong and happy
.... and able to easily lift this little man, and run around with my kids.
At 46 years old, this is important!!