This pandemic is really helping a lot of us to be more active.
Many of us have more time in the day and no excuse not to get outside and get some exercise. After watching everything there is to watch on Netflix, I purchased a few items to get me started on my exercise journey. The first thing I did was go to the nearest used bike shop. I bought a couple of bikes for my daughter and I. At first biking was very painful, let’s be honest, bike seats are not very comfortable until they are broken in. And since owning a bike I now realize that I live on a slight incline because getting home after a long ride is the hardest stretch of road.
The bike that I own now is rusted and the gears are nearly impossible to adjust, making a clicking sound everywhere I go. My daughter’s bike is always squeaky, and the chain is being held together with an elastic band.
Someone asked me what kind of biker I am and I had no idea how to answer. I’ve since learned that there are different types of biking classifications. There are freestyle bikes which is what my son has as he does wheelies on his BMX and uses his foot as a brake. There are cruisers, like the kind that you see with baskets, bells and whistles. There are the mountain bikers who are decked out in protective gear from head to toe because they fall a lot, sometimes off cliffs. There are fat wheel bikes that can be used all year round in the North, and there are electric bikes that might not do very well in the cold northern temperatures but the point is there is a bike for everyone in any terrain or weather.
Then there are the roadster bikes. They are sleek, fast and light. They are a lifestyle bike here on the island and that is the type of bike that I’ve got my eye on. Now when I see bikers, I study their gear. The latex suite with the padded bottom, the phone holder on the handlebars, the rearview mirror, the fancy biking shoes and pointed helmet to allow for aerodynamics. The bike that I have my eye on is expensive, ranging from a few thousand dollars to the double digits so I’m looking for a cheap used one for now. My goal is to get advanced enough to join a biking tour across Italy once I graduate from Law school as a gift to myself. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big.
I’ve also been getting out on the water. Like the North, we are surrounded by water here on the island, literally. So for my birthday I bought myself a tandem kayak. I admit I had some trepidation about going on the water as an inexperienced kayaker, especially the open ocean, but there is a less intimidating narrow gorge waterway in my backyard and I can’t not explore it. At first, I had to Google if seals attack humans because the gorge is full of them but as soon as my daughter and I dipped our paddle into the water we saw an old otter, an eagle and a few seals popping their heads out at us and we forgot all about being afraid.
Even though it’s nice to own exercise equipment you don’t need anything to get in a workout. I do a fair bit of walking and find that all you really need is a decent pair of shoes, a warm jacket ski pants and a pair of gloves. I often walk the dogs along the shoreline of the ocean and play tag with the lapping waves.
The winters here on the island are very rainy but I still walk, rain or shine. This morning I walked five kilometres around the gorge in the pummeling rain and would have been a drowned rat by the time I got home but I dressed for the weather and was thankful to feel the refreshment of the raindrops on my face. It was very windy so I had to look up every so often when walking under one of the ancient cedars here as it is not uncommon for large branches to fall on people here on especially windy days.
So whatever form of exercise you do, even if it’s just a little bit at first, it’s a start. It is so good for your mind, body and spirit. I find that after being outside in nature and getting my blood flowing, I have a whole new outlook on the day. It helps with my clarity and keeping my emotions in check. It even helps with my memory. When I’m outside I can finally take in a deep breath and inhale the scents of the earth, enjoying all that our beautiful world has to offer. So wherever you are, rain or snow, it’s possible to get outside and be thankful for being alive.