How to begin?
Inspired by an article titled ‘Cycle Path to Happiness‘ by the talented Simon Usborne in the Independent in December 2012, I acquired an old (and I mean old) bicycle with the sole intention of cycling myself happy.
After several years of low mood, resulting in me losing my job, my relationship (with a beautiful, beautiful girl who really, really deserved better) and my home, I ended up in my hometown of Sheffield with the ‘Black Dog’ sitting bastard-like at my heels. Alone and embarrassed to tell anyone how I was feeling, I very quickly became very unwell. Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t for one second claim to have found the answer to the seriously complex enigma of recovering from mental ill-health, but I have found a way, on occasions, to feel better, and that’s a good start.
Both the short and long-term benefits of regular exercise are immense and they apply to everyone. If you’re not regularly doing something that requires you move around under your own steam, then you’re probably making excuses. That might sound a bit harsh, but if you or your children are carrying a lot of extra weight, then you need to try and change it, for their sakes if nothing else.
It is far better to build strong children than to repair broken men and women.
I’m the first person that’ll admit that i’m a classic example someone who is guilty of putting things off and leaving things until they get serious. My fault. But also my responsibility to try and put it right.
Mental ill-health, by it’s very nature, sometimes makes physical exercise very difficult. It’s never easy – even I can’t always manage it, but if you can find that spark, somewhere deep inside, you’ll be really glad that you did.
Enough evangelism for now. Let me start by telling you how I got ‘on my bike’ to help me feel better…
UPDATE: I’ve moved on considerably since I first wrote this. I now have a small collection of bicycles. A mountain bike, an pedal-assist bike (for ‘yellow’ days when I only have the life force of a gerbil) and a lightweight road bike. Read ‘Rolling‘…