Last week I participated in my favorite event of the year! Each year, the Bonneville Cycling Club spends thousands of hours (all volunteer hours) preparing for The Little Red Riding Hood cycling event for women and it is the highlight of my cycling season. While I was riding last weekend, I was thinking about how much my life has changed as a result of cycling.
- I love my body. While cycling is an amazing calorie burner, that is not what I mean by this. As I ride, I am constantly reminded that my body allows me to do things that I love. I feel so blessed to have a working body. Instead of criticizing my legs and thinking they aren’t thin enough or flaw free, I think about how much stronger they have become since I began riding. I remind myself that without my imperfect legs, I couldn’t ride my bike.
- I feel more confident. By being able to challenge myself through cycling, I have never felt more confident in my ability to accomplish goals. Every year I get faster and there is nothing like riding over 40 miles per hour down a hill. You feel like you are flying! Cycling allows me to challenge my body to do things I didn’t think I was capable of doing. Three years ago, I rode my first century (100 miles) and I am now preparing for my first double century
- Amazing friends. Through my involvement with cycling, I have been able to meet some amazing people who uplift me. Through my participation with this club, I have been able to join a community of people who do more than ride bikes. They genuinely care about each other.
I am so grateful to this incredible group of people who give up thousands of hours of their time to create such an amazing organization. To improve your self-esteem, find something that helps you feel good about yourself. Get involved in activities that build confidence. Focus on what your body does for you instead of criticizing flaws. Don’t allow yourself to be deterred by things that challenge you, take on the challenge and push yourself until you get there.