Sometimes it takes what seems like a Herculean effort to push myself away from the cerebral feast of the internet to get some good old-fashioned exercise.
When I do get away, a vigorous bike ride is my exercise of choice because it’s both a physical and mental workout at the same time. If you do any sustained aerobic activity, you know what I mean: it’s a bit of a mind game.
As I ride, my mind wanders. Ideas disassemble and reform in different ways. Mental to do lists become clarified. External stimulation and the physical activity change how I see my priorities, my blockages, my next strategic steps.
And then there are the hills. I like to ride the flats and enjoy the scenery. There’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes I notice that I’m avoiding the hills. And the avoidance is a mental block. What goes down must go up, I think, and I’m not sure I have the energy for the “up”.
Yet when I ride the hills, I love it. My struggles to climb are rewarded with the rush – both physical and mental – of the peak and the inevitable descent. At the peak, my legs feel strong and the muscles tight. It almost seems as if the scenery looks better as a result of all that adrenalin coursing through my body.
This is exactly how life looks to me. I spend lots of time riding the flats and enjoying the moment. But some of the best moments come from picking a hill and conquering it.