Yesterday, I fulfilled my pledge to bike every day in April as part of the #30DaysofBiking campaign. I finished the month with my longest rides ever – 29.58 miles – on the Lake Wobegon Trail in central Minnesota.
I rode a total of 177.32 miles in April and I’ve discovered that I really enjoy everything that comes with biking.
As I rode the last few miles of yesterday ride, I found myself reflecting on the past 30 days and what I learned from participating in this challenge and wanted to share these lessons with you.
Here goes …
1. Tell People What You’re Doing: You’ve heard this before and I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. When you let friends, family and other people in your network know what you trying to achieve, there’s a built-in sense of accountability. There were days this month where the weather was not cooperating and it would have been easy to skip that day. Knowing that “people” were watching was enough to get me out there. Wind, snow, rain and near freezing temps were not going to be the reason I failed!
2. Not Everything Has To Be Measured/Tracked: I’ve been a runner for the past 4 years now and I’ve noticed that when I run, I spend more time worrying about my pace and forget to enjoy the process and the scenery. That’s not the case when I ride. Yes, I do track the mileage and time with an app but I’m not checking it everything few minutes to see how fast I’m going and what my splits are. Sometimes there’s value in just doing something for the fun of it. I suspect that once I fully recover from the injury that has reduced my running to a bare minimum, I’ll be less focused on my running pace and will enjoy my runs even more.
3. Being Active Is A Great Stress Reliever: My injury made all but impossible for me to run over the last several months and I noticed it was taking a toll on both my physical and mental health. Not only were my clothes getting a little tighter, I noticed a change in the way everyday stress was affecting my mood and general disposition. A few days after I started the #30daysofbiking challenge, I felt better and less stressed. The opportunity to get out there and be active did me a world of good. Participating in this challenge made me realize that I need to be active and I need to exercise. When I do exercise, I’m a far better husband, father, colleague, and friend. Plus, I have a productive and beneficial way to relieve whatever stress I may have!
4. Starting Is Often The Most Difficult Part: I’m sure there’s research on this somewhere but I’ve come to believe that the reason most of us don’t accomplish our goals is because we don’t start. I have a saying whenever I run a race – cross the two lines! It’s simple enough, in order to finish the race, regardless of the distance, you have to cross two lines. The thing is, most of us worry about the middle and the end and simply forget to start. It doesn’t matter what you hope to achieve, unless you start … it ain’t going to happen!
Participating in the #30daysofbiking challenge was everything I wanted it to be and then some. Now I’m left to ponder this – if I ride 175 miles per month for the next few months, could I log 1,000 miles before the next snow fall comes?
PS – I think I just did it again … See lesson #1!
Be well and make it a great day!