Pilates & Pedalling
10th September 2018
Pilates & Pedalling
Today my husband and I accomplished a goal we set just over a year ago, to complete the 45 mile Pedal for Scotland Charity Ride. We’ve done a few big rides since deciding 6 years ago to make a lifestyle change and discover the joys of cycling. However, during that time, I have been plagued by health issues, including having a Spinal Fusion surgery done 5 years ago, which I continue to carefully look after.
Following our relocation from Africa last July, we bought ourselves a couple of bikes and started training in April for today’s ride. Thankfully (or perhaps not) we live up in the Glens of Perthshire and as a result any time we set off for a training ride, we are instantly faced with hills, and of course hills have a tendency to go up and then down and inevitably you’ve no sooner conquered one, when lo and behold there looms another just ahead! As a result we have discovered inner strength that we didn’t know we had, we have had no option but to develop a tenacious determined perseverance to get us home following most training rides and thus we have mastered the art of changing gears to get the absolute best out of our bicycles and our leg strength, not to mention the mental strength required.
Having joined the Bälans family in mid-July, I have been growing in knowledge about Pilates and the wondrous change that can occur within your body once you begin training it in the masterful way that Joseph Pilates designed. Muscular strengthening and toning is a natural change that occurs when you commit to the lifestyle. I love that Pilates himself said, “Above all, learn how to breathe correctly.” And I cannot emphasise enough how important this is in cycling. The only way to comfortably climb a steep or even just a long climb is to have complete control of your breathing.
So, today as we set off on our epic journey, which we completed with a little ‘Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust’ – more the faith and trust really as the Pixie Dust was blown away rapidly in Glasgow by the strong winds that were destined to hinder us the whole way through to Edinburgh Airport!! I was continually reminding myself to control my breathing, and before I knew it we had come to the end of the ride! I won’t say it was easy, it was in-fact 3 hours 48 minutes of hard work, but we finished it joyfully, with a smile on our faces.... and we cannot wait for the next challenge, the Étape Loch Ness next April. What I am looking forward to most is the continued changes to my physical and mental capabilities through my newfound lifestyle of combining Pilates with my pedalling pursuits.