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 ;)!
(*)/ (*) Enjoy the ride!! ❤ Cycling! ❤ Nairobi! and beyond!