Cycling for Pleasure

cyclist riding on a hot day
Recently, I experienced a shift in my mindset that has me both excited and curious. As a cyclist, I have always relied on setting goals to motivate myself to work harder and push myself further. In the past, I've successfully completed challenging tours from Lubbock, Texas to Pensacola, Florida, and from the border of Oklahoma down to South Padre Island, Texas. However, in 2021, I began experiencing unexplained health issues that have made it difficult for me to train for my next goal - a challenging 4 day tour through the high mountains of northern New Mexico. Despite my efforts, my health issues persist, and I've come to accept that I may not be able to complete this tour. I have always been trying to find joy in the journey.

Surprisingly, this realization has brought me a newfound sense of finding joy in the journey of cycling. Without the pressure of a specific goal, I've been able to simply ride for the pleasure of it. I've found that the stress I put on myself to prepare for tours had been taking away from the pure enjoyment of cycling, something that I wasn't fully aware of until now.

This experience highlights the importance of balance in sports psychology. While having a clear goal can be an effective motivator, it's also essential to find joy in the process itself. The pressure to achieve can sometimes lead to added stress and take away from the enjoyment of the activity. Finding a balance between striving for excellence and allowing oneself to enjoy the present moment can lead to a more fulfilling and sustainable experience in sports and in life.

I'm left wondering if others have experienced this same shift in perspective, where the absence of a specific goal has led to a newfound sense of joy in their sport. I'm curious to know if anyone has found a balance between working towards a goal and enjoying the process. If you've had a similar experience, I'd love to hear about it and learn from your insights.

Ultimately, this experience has taught me the value of being present and finding joy in the journey, regardless of whether or not I have a specific goal to work towards. It's a reminder that sometimes the best experiences come from simply allowing ourselves to be fully immersed in the activity without any external pressures.

Here is my next blog post:  Discovering the Beauty of Florida's Pinellas Trail: The Best Bicycle Trail in Florida


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