The transformative power of a bike ride

One of the hardest things I’ve done lately, was to get out of bed after my afternoon nap, and get on my bike. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the energy for it – I did. I’m in a strong phase right now. It was that I was sad. And not the type of sad that happens when I have a needed breakdown, but the kind of sad that looks a lot like depression – and that scares me.

So, I dragged my ass out of bed and had a bowl of ice cream. I’m allowed comfort foods whenever I want them! And when you are sad, they help a little … plus I knew I would need the energy, cause if I was going to get off my ass and go for a bike ride I needed to ensure my body was fueled before I left.

So, I did it. I got changed and hopped on my road bike. For the first half hour of riding, I cried. My nose ran – most annoying side effect of chemo hair loss is that you lose the hair in your nose so your nose runs a lot sooner when you cry. I allowed myself to cry. I contemplated anti-depressant medication. I know that at some point I will probably need it, but I want to avoid it if I can. There are side effects to that as well.

About a half hour into my ride something changed – the endorphins kicked in – I suddenly started to see the beauty around me. I stopped to take this picture as the bird seem to be posing just for me.

2014-07-30 19.10.26 HDRThe bike ride transformed me – from sad-Becky back into warrior-Becky. For the remainder of the ride I worked out the important arguments in a letter to the Editor for the New York Times relating to my recent blog post on bilateral mastectomies, that I plan to write (hopefully later this evening). Thank-you for those who have encouraged me to write something more formal.

I cannot say that I am no longer sad – I am just not dysfunctionally sad. I’ve moved past that part and can now start to pull my thoughts back together into actions. I hope to get out for another ride first thing tomorrow morning before it gets hot and sunny (since I cannot swim tomorrow due to low blood counts).

  • Becky

One Comment

  • I know that feeling. I’ve dealt with depression all my adult life, with greater and lesser success. I’m glad the crying and the bike ride helped. If you want to talk, I’m pretty open about where I’ve been and the one good thing about having gotten through umpteen rounds of it is that I have a pretty good toolbox, and I can just shut up and listen.

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