Bike Me Buff: The Voices Told Me to Do It

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

September 6th, 2010 • Mind-Body MedicinePrint Print

Some crazy shit happened last month, and I was abruptly dislodged from my apartment in LA. During all the trauma/drama, I fled to my mom’s place in Northern California, to recuperate and figure out my next move. I brought my bike with me.

As I hit the bike trails near my mom’s home, they called to me. I suddenly had crystal-clear visions of myself biking 10, 30, 60 miles a day – going far beyond the pain-free life I’ve recently been living with regards to basic activities (thanks to dance), and reclaiming my badass, athletic, strong-as-an-ox self from my teens and 20s.

Biking was one of my first loves. I don’t, in fact, remember a time in my life that I wasn’t doing it. But for almost the past year in LA, I hadn’t been biking more than 6 miles at a shot. Not only did I have to dodge cars while biking to the beach, but then I either had to take the freeway ramp down to the bike path on the beach, or I had to weave through some seriously insane cars and buses, so as to reach another path entrance. I never knew which route was worse, so I ended up looking at the ocean from the cliffs, then turning around and biking back home.

I wasn’t doing much of any outdoor activity in LA, actually, for the same reason: No matter what I did or where I went, I had to navigate through a barrage of BMWs, Mercedes, and Lexus cars with homicidal maniac drivers. So I usually stayed home.

If I end up having to move, I decided, I’m leaving LA altogether and heeding the call of the bike trails. And so I did. I have been up north just a week, and already I’ve been biking 9-16 miles every single day but one, at speeds up to 21 mi/hr. I’m dodging rabbits, gophers, skunks, and turkeys, instead of luxury cars, and I get to breathe fresh air and look at parks, trees, and a river as I speed on by.

Plus I don’t have to worry about sand from the beach – which, combined with cement and bike tires, is not a pretty mix. On the beach path in LA, I generally biked no more than 10 mi/hr, to play it safe.

My inner athlete is becoming an outie again. I am so f***ing excited, I want to dance. Speaking of which, I’ve been dancing every day, both before and after I bike. As I get buff again, I’m going to dive into other sports I love – kayaking, roller blading, volleyball, running, swimming.

You can follow my progress on Twitter and Facebook. As you do, I encourage you to choose your own activity and get started on your own path to wellness, no matter how small the steps you take. I remember one woman with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome who made it her mission to stand up for something like one minute, once a day. Then two minutes. Then three.

Remember: Baby steps count. It was not so long ago that I was dancing in my bed, because it hurt too much to get up. And look how far I’ve come, one dance step at a time.



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