Beat the dreadful day

You've come this far, you've accomplished a whole lot! But, it's easy to forget all of that when you get caught up in the hamster wheel. I've got some news for you.


VÄSTERÅS, 2021-08-25

I don't like what I see today

We've all been there. Despite all our efforts, training, cycling, running, swimming, walking, hiking, the coming of that dreadful day spares no one. When it dawns the scale becomes an instrument of torture instead of just a tool! All the mirrors in the house seem to find you and say the same thing: "it's no use hiding, we're still here!". To make matters worse, nothing seems to fit, the hair refuses to collaborate and you're on the way out unable to find nice shoes to wear - it's not that you don't have them, it's just the dreadful day upon you. When the mind tricks you into old thought patterns and you get stuck on "I don't like what I see today", remember that you're not alone - we all go through the same thing from time to time. But, why? What the... is going on?

There's nothing wrong with you

Dr. Michaela Pascoe [1], a researcher with the Institute of Institute of Health and Sport, at Victoria University, explains that exercising makes you more conscious of different parts of your body and where they are and feel like, which in turn may trigger emotional responses to things we were apparently unaware of- until we started moving! She goes on to say that such mood dips after exercising are quite common and don't necessarily pose a problem as long as one is able to bounce back from them. According to the Doctor, we can even prevent such moments with the use of mindfulness and meditation techniques - or even changing perspective a bit.

I can relate to that, a few days ago the dreadful day came upon me and I felt miserable! My mind brought back old habits and I began to comfort-eat my way through it. Since it happened before, I quickly remembered that this would be a perfect moment for moderate exercise, an off-the-grid ride for the pleasure of being on the bike and moving just because I can. I caught myself smiling and spontaneously taking big breaths of air (and the pictures you see here). That seemed to confirm another thing Dr. Pascoe mentioned:

"There's some evidence that when we exercise at a moderate level,

we focus on positive thoughts and away from negative.

But once we push intensity levels up, that disappears."

A gentle reminder came to mind after stopping by a waterfall and a sunflower field: "there's nothing wrong with you". What? Wait, did I just think that thought in the middle of the dreadful day? I looked for the little dark cloud over my head and it was gone! I also remembered a picture I got from a member of our XL Biking community that made me so happy a few days ago, I think it had it all: cycling joy, acceptance, a sparkle in the eye - and Ice Cream!

Photo: Lisa Hilleren, @yo_uterus, @stkd_racing_squad

Beautiful day

We do well to keep a record of our accomplishments, not to dwell in the past, but to remember that the person we are today is greater than the emotions of the dreadful day. In fact, I often wonder whether such day isn't a way of reminding ourselves that there's life outside the hamster wheel, a life to be enjoyed in its fullness! Humans are creatures of habit but not slaves to them. That means we can develop new habits, new thought patterns. Perhaps the best way to fight the dreadful day is not to fight it at all. Instead of giving in to the stress caused by it just remember that it doesn't define who you are as a person! It can't, it is just one day out so many you've already lived! And, though it can be a thorn in the flesh, it can never erase a few simple facts:

You're precious.

You're beautiful. You're enough just the way you are. You deserve to be loved and cared for. Forget whatever ideals the patriarchy throws at you - you're to be celebrated!


Everyday is a new type of "soil" waiting for the seeds you bear inside of you. No, there are no guarantess that they will ever bloom, but how are we to know unless we sow? Everyone has a different way of planting seeds, some are more strategic, goal-oriented, others have access to and rely on good technology and techniques, we have also the random types, spontaneously dealing with things as they come; and, don't forget the linear thinkers who find solice in the logical approach of it all. Isn't that a wonderful palette of colors? Indeed! It shows that our diversity, when united, can help us paint a beautiful day where the dreadful day only saw dry seeds!

Choosing an active lifestyle has more to it than meets the eye. You will find the key to unlocking your goals while other things will be left hanging as padlocks on a bridge - and, even there someone might see something meaningful and beautiful in them! Exercise, activity and performance, are all things of affection as well, they're better understood as part of the whole that comprizes our total health: body, mind, social, and spiritual. You're never without resources during the dreadful day! You have yourself, the universe, other people to talk to, and other thoughts to access. Our community is there with people just like you. We might not have all the answers, but we sure understand. Sometimes we don't need solutions, we just need to be seen, heard and understood. This is XL Biking: together for a better day! Ebbe Silva

Fat Cyclist. ________________________________________________________


[1] https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-01-12/exercise-emotion-mindfulness-anxiety-ventilatory-threshold-brain/13041918


Post-race lows: https://greatist.com/live/post-race-low#5


Mindfulness for cyclists: https://www.bicycling.com/skills-tips/a21950505/cycling-mindfulness-and-meditation/

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