What Makes You Feel Centered? Biking Is My #BestMedicine

The transition happened gradually without any real planning. I live a handful of miles from my work, so on one sunny day a few years ago, I chose to bike instead of drive. I found I liked it more than plopping into my aging car just to get across town, and it didn’t take me much longer. That led to biking most pleasant days. Then, even on hot or overcast days. Now, I bike to work every day. (Well, almost—rain does put a damper on the situation.)

I bike to just about anywhere that time, weather and perspiration allow. On Sundays, I look forward to reading the paper then cycling to the farmer’s market to stock up. It has become my way, my ritual. I do it because I like that I’m moving my body instead of having a machine do it for me. It is also satisfying to think I’m part of an environmental solution instead of being part of the problem.

I notice that other people have their own rituals. The happiest people I know are ones who live intentionally and circle back to the practices that keep them feeling centered.

My 74-year-old mom has been doing morning exercises since she was 30. She’s collected a lot of gear over the years—a treadmill, a stationary bike, weights and mats. She’ll probably outlive me.

My boss is a runner. She gets up ridiculously early to do it, and on the rare occasion that she doesn’t, you can tell without having to ask.

My friend’s wife took up surfing at age 35. Now she does it regularly, and whenever they travel, she makes sure to hang ten in a foreign land.

Some people love exercise. Others of us know we should, but needs ways to talk ourselves into it. My wife has turned one daily custom—walking the dog—into another. Jogging the dog. It’s a great way to jumpstart the day, and our little guy sure seems to like it too.

These practices aren’t just about exercise, though. It’s also about spending quality time with people you love. My brother has turned his daughter into a voracious reader by sitting with her to read every night before bedtime.

It’s said that laughter is the best medicine. I’m no doctor, but I’d make the case that it’s rituals like these that help maintain an even keel.

How do you live intentionally? Which of your daily/weekly/monthly/annual rites gives you a little extra healing? For me, taking every opportunity to pedal instead of drive is my #BestMedicine. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. The important thing is just to find yours.

 

If you agree, share your ritual and inspire others to find theirs using the hashtag #BestMedicine.