Cycling away the January blues as new horizons open up outdoors
OUT with the old, in with the new is how I’ve started and mean to go on in 2019. The house has been de-cluttered and local charity ships, in turn, filled, with children’s clothing, books and toys, giving me a pay-it-forward sense of satisfaction; even if, in truth, there simply was no more room what with all of the Santa and family presents lavished on the children.
One present, a Batman bike, has had a transformative effect on our weekly, no daily routines. The Little Fella can’t be separated from his new wheels and – always eager to join in on the fun – his older sister has a new-found love for the bike she got for her seventh birthday.
The first weekend of the year was consequently spent cycling some of the beautiful winding paths of two local trail routes. As the person with a big cycle coming up later in the year it was ironic that I was the one walking and my two charges were being given boosters up hills and nervously kept upright through a series of quick protective hand motions as they sped downhill.
The joy on The Little Fella’s face as he came to a stop having somehow managed to stay on the saddle, despite wild 90 degree arm bending balancing, was something to behold.
The first day of the year was my day on the bike, however, and even if I didn’t exactly jump out of bed at the thought of cycling 60 km with some work colleagues, I was happy to be out, filled to the gills with oxygen.
The start of a new year is symbolically important.
For some who have had a rough time in 2018, the dawning of 2019 offers the opportunity to look forward in hope to better days ahead.
As the great poet Emily Dickinson so eloquently put it: ‘Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul/And sings the tune without the words/And never stops at all.’
After a frenetic Christmas, the days have given way to clarity and, for some, a renewed sense of purpose. I was at the local park run on Saturday, not participating, but at the same venue helping the children around the course on their bikes and couldn’t get over the crowds out running off the January Blues and the cabin fever that saw many confined to their homes for days on end.
My family in America had no such luxury, as they were back to work on St Stephen’s Day. Some 800,000 Americans have not enjoyed a great start to the year as they haven’t been paid due to the Government shutdown over Trump’s insistence on building a wall between America and Mexico. My mother’s gifts for her nephews and nieces haven’t arrived yet because of it, yet another example of how the President Trump’s actions have come home to roost to a working class American family.
The weekend ended with ice skating and I loved it. There’s nothing like skimming along a treacherous surface with a few centimetres of plastic and a shred of dignity separating you from a broken bone to remind you of the balancing act life is. As I was holding my two children’s hands keeping them upright, I felt that lightness of being, that look-over-the-shoulder gratitude to be alive and breathing, that makes you appreciate life and not sweat the small stuff.
Park Runs are inclusive, fun and a great way to get yourself fit in January.