(✿◠‿◠)SerialLoveAffair… Cured

14 Feb

I got a message from WordPress saying this month, I should be celebrating my first anniversary as a blogger. It also happens to be the month of love, when I chose to spare warm, fuzzy thoughts about the love of cycling, just for the heck of cycling. Last year we dedicated the Valentines Day cycling post to HeCyclesNairobi in (✿◠‿◠) SheCyclesNairobi Digs HeCycles It’s by watching the HeCyclesNairobis that I got the courage to get a bike and cycle these precarious streets.

This time, I want to tell you about my serial love affair and how I got over it.

I have always been athletic; in  primary school, I was always top three in the 200m and 400m dash – mostly second after long-legged Fridah. I dabbled in competitive swimming under the able tutelage of Mrs. Raburu, the swimming coach with a booming, encouraging voice. I was never too serious about swimming though and only took part in three or four meets despite being involved in hours of training.

In high school, my pal and I spoke about joining the army when we finished high school, so to ensure that we made it through the rigorous, physical entrance examination, she and I trained hard daily after classes. We would work our abs, run, do press-ups and leg ups. She was not a morning person, I was, so at 5:30 am on the weekdays as the bell rang I would wait for the dorm doors to be flung open by the matron and make a dash for the field, where I would run two or three laps. When we left high school, she joined the British Army, and I decided to go to college instead at the instigation of my army Major uncle who told me I could still join later, after college. Of course, the army dream was shed along the way as the thrill of college life and later a civilian career beckoned.

In college, I took up Tae-kwon-do and was the only female on the team, but the bruising and aches got to me so much that I quit after 6 months. I loved the work out sessions to build upper body strength though and was loving my taught abs – the taut-est they had ever been since high school, from doing some suspension crunches before daily spurring practice.  I ignored the teasing from the boys in my class as my arms got visibly toned.

A dear pal introduced me to in-line roller skating in the third year of college, the amount of quad control required and the likelihood of falling and cracking the back of my skull put me off. I loved the resilience my leg muscles developed though. I still have the roller blades at the bottom of my closet, gathering dust. She still skates to this day.

Before taking up cycling, I had become a lazy slob. No, I was not over weight or anything like that, just lazy about any exertion beyond getting out of bed and getting to work. In my adult life, I have lived within 500 meters (or less) of very good gyms, but have never been a gym-type-of-gal. It then occurred to me that I need a workout system that fits into my routine of a hubbub life. It innocently started with walking 4 km away to catch a bus daily and 4km back, when I noticed the cyclists along the Highway. They always kept moving despite the forlorn morning and evening traffic-standstill. The cyclists and the pedestrians kept moving.

Now, I am an “everyday athlete” as a commuter cyclist! It’s become a major part of my getting up and out of the house. On weekends, if I don’t find an excuse to get out by 8am, I won’t move the rest of the day; I will be terribly sluggish. On the daily climb back home from work, I don’t go easy on the pedals, I “tear them off” finishing the 12km stretch in 20-25 minutes.

What I love most about this cycling thing is the total work out; I get the effects of swimming, the cardio and strength boost of running in-line skating and taekwondo all rolled into one on my way to and from work daily; I now have effortlessly taught abs, toned arms from leaning forward on the handle bars, longer, stronger calf muscles, firm quadriceps and gluts.

I love the new me, and so does my somebody ;)!

~ __0
_-\<,_
(*)/ (*)  Enjoy the ride!!  ❤ Cycling! ❤ Nairobi! and beyond!

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3 Responses to “(✿◠‿◠)SerialLoveAffair… Cured”

  1. aspiring rider chic October 12, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    Hi, I have just come across you blog and really enjoyed reading all your adventures as a commuter cyclist. Much like you, I am one of those people who gets extremely sluggish and hate the gym. I have never been overweight but lately I have been battling to keep my energy levels high. I took up a riding challenge with my husband and some friends from Nairobi to Ole Tepes and I barely even made it to Kileleshwa (our starting point was Westlands). Very disheartening given that I had really wanted to finish the entire ride. My heart was pounding so hard I could hardly breathe. Needless to say, I was a wobbly hot mess and decided to ride in a designated van until we arrived in Maasai country. You have really inspired me to take up riding but this time I will pace myself, small incremental milestones until I am comfortably able to endure long distance rides.

    • shecyclesnairobi October 12, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

      Hi.Best to start by riding within your neighbourhood, also try plyometric exercises to strengthen your legs. The hills in Kileleshwa are not easy, unless for the more seasoned riders. All the best! Enjoy the ride!

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