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Let’s Go Fly . . . A Bike! July 16, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor.
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Now that we are re-situated, we are working to develop good habits which take advantage of all the sunshine here in the Sunshine State.

We swim in the Gulf and in our neighborhood pool. We walk along the island’s sandy shores and through the adjacent preserve. We visit parks to hike trails through mangroves and pines. We’re learning to kayak. We play ping-pong and shuffleboard at the Activity Center, and frisbee on the beach.

And we are biking again after an absence of many, many, many years.

As a kid, I rode a bike on a regular basis ~ a habit that I abandoned once I went away to school. Until moving here, it had been 30+ years since I’d ridden a bike with any regularity.

During those years, I could count my bike outings on one hand. We rented bikes once to ride around Chincoteague Island in Virginia ~ a lovely eight mile ride to the beach and back. When my niece (who is now 18) was two, my sister convinced me to ride to the park with them ~ a distance of about 4 miles.

When . . .

Oh, wait, that’s it.

Two bike rides equals the sum of my bike riding experience in the 30 years preceding our move to Florida.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I rode my Schwinn Aero-Dyne (stationary cycle) more than 4500 miles in the past 20 years . . . but that’s not really the same thing, is it?

When cruising on the stationary bike, I could read or watch TV without worrying about maintaining stability, swerving around puddles, getting chased by dogs, checking traffic, or remembering the appropriate hand signals for starting, stopping, and turning.

And I could ride without having an knobby bike helmet shifting back and forth on my head like a toddler who has had enough sitting down for one day.

But, even if it hadn’t been 30 years, I would still be a biking virgin on my sister’s loaned bike:

* My last bike had 3 gears – hers has 21.

* My last bike had handle bars located a comfortable distance from my shoulders ~ hers requires me to stretch in such a way that my hands go numb.

* My last bike had a big honking seat, comfy and cushy, and soft ~ her bike seat is as hard as the pit of a peach, and about the same size.

About the same time my hands go numb, my butt turns numb as well.

But I love it.

Riding a bike is a bit like learning to walk . . . you never really forget.

I enjoy the feeling of freedom as I fly around the neighborhood, pedaling and coasting, coasting and pedaling. I enjoy experiencing the sights and sounds and smells that one would miss from a motorized vehicle . . . well, most of the smells. A few smells have been decidedly unpleasant.

After a few trips around the neighborhood, the bike became an extension of me, rather than an alien object requiring constant attention: I mastered the art of checking my watch, or turning to check traffic, without losing my balance; I managed to scratch an itch with one hand, while continuing to steer with the other; and I mastered the art of braking without screeching to a halt ten feet shy of where I intended to stop or careening into the middle of the intersection because I overshot my mark.

But, there is still something that I need to work on . . . making a U-Turn.

Right now, the turning radius on my Honda Civic is about half that of my turning radius on the bike.

Moreover, my Civic has wonderful stability as it maneuvers around curves, circles, and traffic islands. My bike does not. My car handles beautifully, without wobbling, teetering, or toppling over as it enters into and glides around the sharpest of hairpin curves. 

My bike does not.

But I’m getting there.

One great thing about biking ~ parallel parking is a breeze.

If I miss the mark the first time, I pick up the bike and shove it where it belongs.

Let’s Go Fly . . . A Bike!

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Are you a fan a bicycling?  Or has it been years since you last sat on a bicycle built for two (or one)? 

Swing by Tilly’s blog and wish her well as she becomes a Cycling Diva!

Related posts: An Island in the Sun * A Walk in the Waves * Explore the Great Outdoors * Brave New Adventures * Cycling Diva (The Laughing Housewife)

Happiness is the Gas Gauge July 16, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness.
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Hand-moving-chess-pieceFrom choosing a career, to choosing a life partner, the choices we make can add to our happiness, or negate happiness found in other areas.

When making choices, if we follow the preferences of others, we are apt to be in for a bumpy ride.

When we know WHO we are . . . we know HOW to live.

Exercise-SunsetLiving life without passion is like trying to go hot air ballooning with an empty balloon.

We barely get off the ground before we collapse into a heap, deflated once again.

Pursue your purpose with passion. Pursue your passion with purpose.

How do you know you’ve found your passion?

Are you happy?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote: Just trust yourself and you will know how to live. ~ Goethe

Related posts:   Happiness . . . not Hedonism * Inner Peace & Happiness *  The Inner Path to Peace * It’s Time To Wake Up * Backwards LivingAccess Your Inner Wisdom * Who Are You? * The AwakeningOur Internal Compass