Clearing your mind. Ridding unwanted thoughts. Calmness. Clarity.
You'll hear these phrases often if you read up on meditation, mindfulness or download the latest buddha quotes app. I've spent my fair share of time across all three and whilst completely understanding that to most it’s overwhelming to even consider such activity, I do agree that the art of meditation can provide such results. My lack of flexibility however means I can barely cross my legs, and most days the thought of sitting down for 20 minutes to clear my mind is replaced with increasing the pace of my day, fitting more in and wondering why I don't feel content yet. The irony of this is LOLable.
I’m an over thinker, similar to a most people you meet (once you get to know them properly) and so the theory of meditation is more appealing than the doing of it. On a ride this morning, I realised that I was putting said theory into practice without realising it (until I did realise it and decided to write a blog piece on it).
For those of you who cycle, the great news is that the mindfulness life you may crave and admire in others, is already in place. Is that another reason to cycle? That list is becoming unbearably large. Soz bike haters/car drivers.
On a scale of 1 to Gemma Collins in Celebrity Big Brother, I woke up in about a 5 on the scale of ‘bad mood’ on Saturday morning. Thankfully, the decision on whether to ride or not was taken out of my control. I had to complete an errand before lunch time which required me to ride the Bianchi.
I’d rode a few miles before realising that I hadn’t had a single negative thought. I’d been playing Lip Sync battle, the pedalling edition, to Glitterball Ella Henderson and whilst being aware of the roads and safety, they were the only real thoughts that I had experienced. For about ten minutes, I’d stopped the stream of constant thought and allowed myself to get lost in the music of a past X Factor contestant. I questioned how often in the day that normally occurs. After some tough maths, the grand total was zero. Had I just meditated, whilst cycling? (I can assure you my eyes were open and legs were fully uncrossed).
Whilst cycling, you’re on the edge of control / out of control. Being aware of what is going on around you will forever be the most important thing and so I won’t be turning into Buddha PP on the hills anytime soon. However, I wanted to celebrate a few mindfulness elements that cycling provides you (no ‘huuuuummmm’ outbursts needed).
1. Being in the now
2. Minimising thoughts
3. Feeling free
4. Rhythm over rushing
5. Clarity of what's important
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, believe the hype and ride your bike.
You’ll rarely return home in the company of more unwanted thoughts.