Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Most Important Bike Ride of My Life!

When I was a kid, I primarily grew up in the west end of downtown Toronto and pretty much did everything  that young energetic rambunctious boys did with the exception of one thing.

I didn't bike ride!

When I think back, it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  All my friends had bikes and the residential area I lived in was full of riders but for whatever reason I didn't gravitate towards it.
Or more accurately, I didn't learn to ride.  

Its something I've pondered about for many years and after some pretty deep thought and self reflection I surmised that part of the reason I didn't take up bike riding was because I convinced myself I couldn't do it.

It was as simple as that!

At no point did I try or come close to making an honest attempt to learn or had any concrete data to base my belief off of. I just told myself that it was something beyond me and so it was written.

How's that for the power of self talk??

I conjured this negative belief in my head and accepted the fact I wasn't a bike rider and that in turn became my reality.

I stayed away from the conversation of bikes, I avoided situations where I would have to be around bikes - it was almost as if bicycles didn't exist in my world.  Truth of the matter was the topic was a little embarrassing to openly admit which made easier to avoid talking about and being around all together. 

Throughout the years the idea of riding crossed my mind from time to time but it was more like a fleeting thought.

It was shortly after my 40th birthday when the thought of bike riding started to become more prevalent in my thinking and I slowly started to question my beliefs.

Why don't I ride?

Wouldn't it be fun?

How hard would it be to learn?

Challenging the things we believe or at least thoroughly examining them is an exercise that people should consider doing on a regular basis. Think of it as a form of spring cleaning.  At the very least, its a great way of keeping us honest to ourselves.

Riders Cycle & Board Inc.
After going through my own spring cleaning process and asking myself a few tough questions, I came to the conclusion that there was no reasonable explanation why I didn't bike ride and at this point the only logical thing to do was to learn.

So in late May, I purchased my very first bicycle from my childhood friend's shop and I embarked on a journey that had me wondering why I didn't take it sooner.  I picked it up relatively quickly and in no time I was zipping through the city streets like I had been doing it all along.
I developed what I referred to as the #AddictionToTheGlide syndrome and was constantly looking for reasons to ride discovering bike trails and areas of the city I didn't know existed. A friend once told me a story about how much comedian Jerry Seinfeld loved gliding on his bike through the streets of New York and the sense of freedom he had being out in the open air.  I can totally relate.

My infatuation with riding has lead me to what I call:

The Most Important Bike Ride of My Life!

After exploring several well developed bike paths throughout the city, I've decided to move on to my next challenge and embark on a seven hour bike trip to Niagara-On-The-Lake. NOTL is beautiful this time of the year and is nestled along the shores of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.  I've heard much about it and the scenic bike trails so I've decided to make the journey and experience it for myself.  

At the same time, this trip holds a great deal of significance for me and is much more then just checking out the scenery.  You see, I firmly believe that the limits on our potential only exist in our thoughts and we have the ability to do whatever we want as long as we believe it. I placed limits on myself for years until I finally realized how much of a mistake that was.  This trip will further reinforce in my mind that the things we believe to be true isn't always the case.

So as I make the 133 km (83 mile) journey, I urge you to think about the the things that you're holding yourself back from.

Ask yourself why or rather ask yourself why not?

See you on the court!

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