By Tor McIntosh
I’m an avid cyclist. Well, I say I’m an avid cyclist, but I haven’t actually been on by bike for close to a month. It hasn’t just been idleness that has kept me out of the saddle; I’ve been battling a persistent cold for weeks and juggling a few too many projects. But they’re poor excuses for only togging up in padded pants twice in the past month .
It’s all too easy to convince yourself that you’re “too busy” to find time to hop on your bike for a spin around the hood or lace up your trainers for a plod around the block. Like many startup entrepreneurs my weeks are full of juggling the demands of a day job and the challenges of starting a small business. Right now “too busy” is my default.
However, today I finally got myself back on my trusty steed. To be honest the impetus to step away from my computer was purely physical — a nagging feeling that my idle month meant my fitness was suffering — but the reward was most definitely mental. Despite years of cycling I had forgotten that going for a solo bike ride is brilliant for aligning my thoughts, kick-starting ideas and refocusing my mind. Seeds of doubt are dispersed in hedgerows; the fresh air clears any clouds of confusion in my head; and my creative juices run wild while I pedal along country lanes dodging suicidal pheasants.
Returning home a bit sweatier than when I’d left 90-mins earlier, my never-ending To Do List was still, sadly, never ending. But my mind was clearer and more focused, and I was raring to put into action all the ideas I’d conjured up while pedalling. Today’s cycle-cum-therapy session reminded me that I am an avid cyclist. And somebody who benefits both physically and mentally from stepping away from my computer and getting outside.