Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sacred Life Sunday: The Bicycle

I have decided to buy a bicycle.

One of my desires is to relate to my body differently, to understand it and to "befriend it".

All my life I've felt rather disconnected from it, as though it is something to be carted around unwillingly, a hindrance, something I didn't like very much.

I abused it a lot. Smoking, drinking, eating too much, never exercising it, not getting it medical attention when it needed it, ignoring it as much as possible.

It was rebellion against the idea that I am my body, that my physical appearance should be any factor in how I am received in the world.

The idea of such shallowness made me so sick that I rather frantically rebelled against it ~ to the point of abuse.

Talk about allowing me to be controlled by repugnant cultural values! Yikes!

Several months ago, I began exercising and found I actually enjoy it. Shortly thereafter, I began doing light yoga. It finally occurred to me that I don't need to treat my body as my enemy, that it needed to be integrated into the overall "me".

The body/mind dichotomy is something we all need to grow beyond at some point. By buying a bicycle and riding it, I believe it will help me get over that ~ not to mention improving my health.

Of course the first few times I fall on my ass, I might change my tune.

We'll see.


Angela said...

How very cool for you! I struggle with some body issues as well and it's another area of my life I seem to be constantly trying to integrate. Thanks for the encouragement!

Angela said...

I'm trying to seek some balance around eating, myself, for similar reasons. I do need to lose some weight..I actually blog about that too...and I'm discovering, like you are, that punishing myself and my body is no way to get healthy. I hope you have so much fun, Chani! I love to bike : )

Maddie said...

oh! perfect!!!

now you just need a smiley bell:)


kelly said...

hmmm.....this sounds so familiar. but i haven't began the exercise. so i sit here feeling heavy and yucky. but i love the energy and kindness that you share. your humor too!

flutter said...

Oh I totally hear ya. If it is any consolation to you I have been spending a vast majority of my days falling on or torturing my ass these days.

Be gentle, you'll love a bike. Just get one with a comfy seat.

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

To paraphrase Robert Pirsig, "The bicycle you are riding is your self." Cheers. Thanks for stopping by at my place.

jen said...

does it have a basket? a basket to nestle your flowers and fruits?

i love baskets on bicycles. and i am very glad you've started to make a new friend. she might be your best friend, yet.

Snoskred said...

Becoming good friends with my body is a work in progress over here, too. ;) Ever since I stopped drinking "soda" and started drinking water, I've been feeling a lot better. I highly recommend considering that as one of the positive changes you can make which your body will appreciate. :)


meno said...

Get a little basket on the front for Toto too. :)

I love my bicycle. It feels really satisfying to get somewhere under my own power.

Carla said...

Very cool post. I now feel like I should pump up my tires and get riding mine...although it's starting to get a little chilly. I've been struggling with the exercise thing. But last week I started and like you, felt good about it and want to continue.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

My bicycle and I are very good friends. My body and I -- depends. We have our good moments.

I'm glad you're doing this. It's such great transportation that you forget it's also exercise. You see so many things that you don't from a car, or even walking.

You may never walk again!!

QT said...

Chani - I am all for this! I struggle with the picture I have in my brain not matching what my body actually looks like - I just have to be the best ME I can be, you know?

Also? Please, please be careful. In the motorcycle world, we call cars "cages", and the people inside of them very often do not see two wheels with a headlight attached, never mind bicycles. Riding a motorcycle has made me a hyper-vigilant "cage" driver.

slouching mom said...

Oh, Chani! What a fantastic idea! I can absolutely see you on a bike.

Mary said...

Great idea, Chani! Your closing line made me hoot.

I have never felt better than the years I power walked 2-4 miles each day, drank at least 1/2 gallon of water, and didn't need to give up potato chips. That was 20 pounds ago. When I missed a day of exercise or just couldn't fit it in, I was upset about it. It's a great way of life and it's also habit-forming.

It's been two years since my ankle surgery. I have no excuse for not walking like that again.

Anonymous said...

A lifetime of self-dicovery. Mind, body, heart and soul. They are connected, as much as we kid ourselves at times. A bike is a safe, safe friend. I hope a wonderful relationship develops, you two.

storyteller said...

Hmmm ... my lovely lavender bicycle sits ignored & dusty with flat tires in the garage currently because when I go out these days, Molly wants to come along. I'm fearful that (in her puppyish exuberance) she'll be the death of me if I ride my bike ... so for now we walk together. When she's older, perhaps I can ride again.

I suspect you'll love cycling Chani. It literally saved my soul (and my body) years ago!

liv said...

I think you'll totally dig the bike. I have a nice client who seems sort of like I imagine you to be IRL. She frequently bikes to yoga and it's so cute.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! Lemme know how it goes. (smile)

I can come up with at least a dozen consensually agreed upon intellectualizations and rationalizations why I don't ride a bike (hood activities being a salient factor) or engage in any type of formal exercise. I've long resonated to the phrase I heard years ago about partaking exercise in homeopathic portions. Mmmm, yes, that's always worked for me.

And why, at 51 (body doing all KINDS of manuevers without consent) I could stand to lose 10 or 15 pounds.

I shall recharge my cells vicariously through your efforts.

I think I'm on to something.


Amy Y said...

Good for you!
And you look so cute on your new bike! :)

crazymumma said...

Is. is. is. that could that possibly be you in the picture?

Anyhow, I am doing the happy dance over my way. I think the body mind connection to spiritual and obviously physical health is HUGE!

Christine said...

i used to have a wonderful old bike with a bell.

ahhhh- i miss that old thing!

Kikipotamus said...

Yay, bikies are WONDERFUL. I adore my bike and how easy it is to get places, not have to pay for parking. To make it even more fun, I asked for saddle bags birthday and now can bring my groceries home on my bike. So glad you made that jump to realizing your body is your friend.

MsLittlePea said...

Oh I cheer for you! I love my bike. You'll love yours too. How did you start doing yoga? I'd love to take a class but I don't know any place that teaches any.... Good luck and keep us updated about it Chani!

painted maypole said...

good luck! I want to get one, too, to keep up with my daughter! :)

Wayfarer Scientista said...

Yay for you and buying a bicyle! May I say that I think the bicycle may not just change the way you view your body but also your community and your connections to it. Go you!

I'm a feverent bicycle commuter myself and people always say "oh, well you could drive instead" and I tell them no I can't, biking is my sanity plan, my gym, my space between things, to go from one space to another and have my mind clear.

Anonymous said...

You have made a great first step by exercising. Now a bike. That is a very cool thing indeed. I can't wait until I've given myself my time back so I can ride more. I always feel great after a long ride.

KC said...

I love bike riding- we do it as a family now- although not in my current state!

Hope you have a blast!

the individual voice said...

Yes, that is next on my list. More body movement. I was thinking more of a reclining bicycle at the gym where I can read at the same time. Sounds silly but I'm psyched. I always feel better with exercise.

Anonymous said...

When I reassembled my treadmill, it came up with the last statistics I entered into it.

Same weight (no surprise).
Four years ago!

I haven't been on a bike in even longer. My brother inherited a quality touring bike, and he's become quite the enthusiast.

Bicycling is especially good because it is low impact. Assuming you don't crash. Why would you? Did you learn to ride when you were younger?

You know, I have never hated my body, and in some ways, it's even worse that I don't treat it better.

Good luck! (I love that story teller has a lavender bike. That sounds so fun. Mine is blue.)

Anvilcloud said...

Cycling is great. We did quite a bit for about several summers not long ago but it hasn't worked out well in the last two years. Maybe we'll get back in the groove next year, but we're done for the year up here. But you don't have to worry about winter like we do.