Cycling as a Form of Therapy When Things Get Tough: Riding to Find Comfort
I really like cycling. Some individuals bike for fitness. Some cyclists use their rides as preparation for competitions.
However, as I’ve discovered over the course of the last two weeks, cycling can also be very soothing.
The death of my father is the primary reason why I haven’t been able to publish very often during the previous 10 days. I won’t go into all the gory details, but I’m delighted to report that he passed away quietly, and I was there to be at his side when he did.
It goes without saying that it was a difficult week, but more so since it was 15 years since the passing of someone dear to me. Because I am my father’s only son, it was my obligation to take care of his business matters, and as a result, I stayed in a hotel for a few days in Toronto, which is his hometown, the week before last.
It was a really painful experience to go through, but the moment that marked a turning point for me was last Thursday night when I arrived back to my residence in Niagara Falls. That was the first time I had jumped on my bike in four days.
Even while it wasn’t a very lengthy ride – maybe 15 or 20 kilometres on the roads around the Falls – it was nonetheless one of the most enjoyable rides I’ve ever been on. I was at last able to take my mind off of matters and just take pleasure in the sunlight for that period of time. It didn’t matter to me what my heart rate was, how fast my cadence was, or how fast my average pace was. I had no particular reason to be riding other than the fact that I could.
Since then, I have gone on a ride each and every day, and it has been a wonderful experience. Before any of this took place, I had not at all lost my enthusiasm for riding, but after then, it has taken on a whole new significance for me. My experience has taught me that going for a ride may be more beneficial to one’s mental health than sitting on a sofa for one hour with a therapist.
If you haven’t done so in a while, give your father a call and tell him you love him. After that, get on your bike and go for a ride for no reason other than the fact that you can.