Sunday, April 21, 2013

Do what you love & love what you do

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
- Confucius

The above quote is often trotted out as advice to those deciding on a career. But the same principle applies to many other things, including exercise. My advice to anyone just embarking on a fitness journey would be:

Choose an exercise activity you love, and it won't seem like hard work.

I've tried a number of things over the past almost ten years, and I quickly discovered that I loved lifting heavy things. However, when it came to cardio activities, I dabbled in this and that but never really found my "thing". Until my clever husband bought me my mountain bike late last year.

How could you not love the opportunity to be out in this glorious weather?
I love my spin bike and I love my weekly RPM class, but being out on a real bike, having the opportunity to be actually going somewhere is a whole other thing. I still have my road bike, but my fear of the completely mental drivers around here makes road riding an anxiety-filled experience. Something I plan to address in the future... but for now, I get to hoon around on traffic-free gravel paths, dirt tracks and do a little cross-country riding as well.

Our recent getaway in Bright gave me the opportunity to enjoy some pretty spectacular scenery. But the parkland on our doorstep isn't too shabby either. It's less than a five minute off-road ride to the main entrance to our little piece of paradise. I've posted plenty of kangaroo shots, pictures of the lakes and birdlife and so on in the past (see here and here) - BUT WAIT! There's more....

Looking down on the old homestead and its pretty garden from up high on a ridge

Views that can't be beaten. You'd never guess that suburbia is just a few hundred metres away
Yesterday's ride coincided with a small market in the front garden of our favourite local restaurant, so we finished our ride up there at 9:00am, when the stallholders were just setting up. We ordered coffee and grabbed a table on the verandah to watch things getting started.

Fresh produce, local olive oil, cupcakes and home made preserves  were on offer

Just what you need at the end of a ride

Ponies: apparently they're little girl magnets.
Bike Boy had thought ahead and grabbed his backpack before we left, so we were able to buy some beautiful heirloom carrots, rich-looking mushrooms, figs, stone fruit and the crispest, sweetest apples and pears you've ever tasted. Almost everything on sale was produced within a 10km radius - some of the fruit had travelled a bit further, but was still from Victoria. Truly fresh fruit doesn't even compare with the stuff on offer in supermarkets. The taste, the texture! I've had to restrain myself from scoffing a dozen pieces a day...

Those perfectly ripe figs ended up grilled, then served with ricotta and honey - they didn't need any fancy treatment.

I'm seriously enjoying our rides and although getting up hills is hard work, the ride down the other side is always exhilarating. It's fantastic fun 90% of the time, which I've never been able to say about any other activity I've tried. There's always something to see, somewhere to go and best of all? Bikes are portable, so we can easily throw them in the car when we travel and use them to explore new territory.

I'm sure there are other things I could learn to love; God knows, I've tried or contemplated quite a few. But I'm happy that I've found my "thing" for now.

How about you? Have you found the sport or activity that makes exercise fun for you?



Liz N said...

Woohoo! Awesome, awesome stuff!

Anonymous said...

So true Kek! Glad to see you're enjoying life and getting out into the fresh air and enjoying the spectacular sights and wares. I think I need to get my own mountain bike and do some exploring of my own. Of course, I'll have to take my camera too. I wouldn't want to miss a photo opportunity. :P Great photos! I love looking at what you've captured. :)

Debbish said...

I've always been a believer in doing exercise you love.

I'm not into riding but I get the allure of the outdoors etc. I always love your pics - you are a very talented photographer!

Kek said...

I should qualify that I have found things I love in the past, but they haven't worked out for one reason or another. Boxing looked like a goer at one point - but then my shoulder injury happened, and I had to shelve it. Maybe I'll get back to it one day. Indoor rock climbing really interested me too, but there isn't a venue that's less than an hour's drive from us, and I really can't spare two hours getting there and back on a weekend. Road cycling was a hot option...except for the damn traffic. Sometimes there's more than just your preference to take into account when choosing an activity. Life is so complicated!

Anyway, being able to combine two things I love - cycling and photography - is a real bonus. Most days, I can't be bothered taking my camera though, mainly because the bag I have for it is a sling-style and drives me nuts on the bike (must hunt down the perfect backpack camera bag!). So I'm using my phone for most of my shots-on-wheels; the camera mainly comes out to play when I go for a walk.

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