When I first started riding my bike to lose weight in August 2013, I was around 300lbs but ultra excited to get back into doing something that I enjoyed doing when I was younger. Almost as soon after I bought my bike from Gator Cycle, I rode it for ~4 miles before I became exhausted (didn’t fully understand the importance of constant hydration back then either). Every morning for the next few weeks, I would get up and ride down the Acher Braid Trail trying to go further and further every morning. After my first week, I got a flat tire.
Now to most bicyclists, they look at a flat tire and think, “that’s the luck of the draw,” but not me. I thought back to when I was a kid and recalled that I didn’t get as many flats back then, so my conclusion was I got a flat tire because I was overweight. I was upset at myself and discouraged from riding for a few days before gathering up the courage to put my bike on my bike rack and take it back to Gator Cycle to get fixed. My mind was racing with unnecessarily bad thoughts, as my self-esteem was at a low point.
However, once the bike was fixed I took it back out the next day and found enjoyment again. This time, I was able to go longer before needing to get my tire tube fixed. It was almost a running joke at work that I couldn’t go more than a couple weeks without a repair. But I learned to just keep on going, as the intervals between new tire tubes grew longer and longer. It almost seemed as a way to track progress, “Oh man! I must be losing weight as it’s been a month since I’ve had to repair my tire!” (Admittedly, looking back, that was a stupid tracking method.)
The point of this story isn’t about getting flat tires on your bike and how much of a drag that can be. The point is that throughout our journey to a healthier life, we’ll all get flat tires metaphorically speaking.
There will be days that defeat you. There will be times where you’ll be tripped by seemingly unknown forces while running. Sadly, there will be days where you’re heckled at while exercising on the sidewalk. All these things, like a flat tire, can either slow you down dramatically or stop you in your tracks. Don’t let them win.
Get back up and keep on going. Eventually, you’ll notice that you’re not getting tripped up as frequently and, in fact, you’re going further and faster than you did before. At the end of the day, how many times you fall doesn’t matter… it’s how many times you get back up!
If you’re on your journey towards a healthier life or just really love riding your bike, check out the Active For Recovery Fun Bike Ride hosted in Gainesville, FL on September 19, 2015 during National Recovery Month and will benefit Metamorphosis of Alachua County, a long-term, community-based, residential treatment program for adult chronic substance dependent clients. The ride begins at 9:00am and starts out of Boulware Springs Nature Park and will utilize the beautiful Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail (up to 32 miles round trip). All riders, beginners and experts alike, will have a blast. Participants can pickup their packet & bib at 8:00am.
There will be prizes, food & drinks, sponsor booths, and more once the cyclists return to Boulware Springs!
- All participants will receive a free meal voucher to Cafe C or Soul Shack courtesy of the Celebrations Catering family!
- All participants will be entered to win prizes from our sponsors & friends!