The healing power of a bike ride

Some days I feel like a centaur. If I'm cut off too long from my better half (that's the bicycle) I'm stuck--immobile and mutilated until I can get two wheels firmly underneath me again.

Last night we did some unusual exercises during a taijutsu class outdoors in exceptionally cold weather. I wrenched the muscles in my back, and the pain slowly creeped up on me as the evening wore on. By dinner I was in agony, by bedtime I was groaning in pain. I woke up several times at night, painfully heaving myself around to find a position that didn't hurt.

This morning I could barely lift a coffee cup to my lips.

Excused from work, I spent a few hours this morning experimenting with yoga and tai chi to figure out how bad the damage really was, and what I could and couldn't do.

By noon I could walk if I was careful not to lean too far in the wrong direction. I could lift a decent amount of weight if I paid attention to my posture.  It was time for a bike ride.

I think you can guess what happened next, especially if this has ever happened to you. I'm completely healed, free of pain, back to full mobility.

Chalk it up to circulation, the benefits of bike exercise, gently working the muscles of your lower back by pedaling. Maybe it's the magic of just going out and doing what you really love and want.

The truth is we're resilient creatures. I think a lot of suffering comes out of our own minds. The best thing you can do is break out of the rut you're in, change your environment, assert your freedom to go where you want on your own power.

Get out on your bike and ride.

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