Why rest is so important; and so difficult

This Sunday, I’m going for a bike ride. Who cares, right? Well, it’s my first bike ride since last Sunday, and here’s why it’s a big deal…

I have never “done nothing well.” Or at least that is what I have always told myself. I started cycling about 12 years ago, but last May (2021), something clicked. Given my generally “all of nothing/obsessive” personality, cycling took hold of me very strongly. Since last May, I have ridden a little over 9,000 miles and really didn’t like taking days off.

Last Tuesday, I had 2 teeth removed during oral surgery. After reading, googling, and consulting with my doctor, I was advised that raising my blood pressure and getting back to cycling too soon could cause a dry socket. After reading more about it, I actually listened to all the professionals and took some time to rest. Incredibly, it also correlated with the nicest and hottest days of the calendar year so far, so it was killing me not to ride.

However, I have learned a lot. This year I have already ridden over 4,500 miles, and other than April Vacation, I hadn’t taken this much time off since the previous May. I have to say, it has definitely had a positive impact on my body and forced me to slow things down. It has allowed me to connect with a morning meditation group of friends I had not seen in consecutive days in a very long time. It allowed me to sleep in a lot longer/rest more as well. In short, taking time off has actually helped. How about that? Who would’ve thought?

I have lived vicariously through viewing friend’s rides on Strava as well as watching the Toure de’ France, as it comes to a finish on Sunday. It has been inspiring nonetheless and has allowed me to enjoy other people’s successes as they move through their own fitness goals.

Through this whole week, the biggest takeaway I’ve gotten is simply the gratitude to remember how great it is that I am still physically able to ride. Now, I’m not saying that I took my rides for granted however, I might have gotten a little bit too far into the routine that I may not have been as grateful for each ride as I might have been. I will do my best never to do that again.

My game changing teacher moment: Be grateful for what we can do in each moment and don’t take things for granted, even the little things.

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