About three years ago, I bought a bike through the bike-to-work scheme at my job. I went all out, getting all the gear (including some very attractive padded shorts!) and everything a budding cyclist could possibly need.
My rather oversized, if well-meant good intentions (no, I haven’t cycled since I was about twelve. Yes, sure I’ll cycle to Galway no bother!) swiftly fell by the wayside, as first I broke my toe and then suffered five recurrences of Bell’s Palsy which combined with a lovely bout of Post Viral Fatigue which quite literally knocked me flat, and caused me overall to miss eight months of work last year and to put pretty much all of my life on hold.
So when recently a flyer came through the door advertising a women’s cycling course in Malahide, I figured this was my opportunity to ‘get back on the horse-bike’, as it were. I’ve been fairly healthy since February, although my year’s worth of sitting around doing nothing was still taking it’s toll on me. I was no longer fit, I had no energy and my skin, hair and nails were dull and lifeless. I had also put on a good two stone in weight from the high dose steroids I’d been on.
The course was eight weeks long, and with my shift work I opted to do the Monday morning. It was run by the Irish Centre for Cycling, out of their new base at North Lodge in Malahide Castle (you can find them here). The course had people of literally all ability levels on it, and the guys running it were absolutely lovely. We learned everything, from the absolute basics such as how to get onto a bike correctly, right up to coping with multi-lane roundabouts in week eight (while retaining the ability to breathe).
Yesterday was the final week of the course, and I cycled, on the road, all the way from Malahide to Howth and back, without getting killed, and without needing someone to carry me back. This was a major achievement for me as no way would I have been able for the thoughts of that a few months back!
This got me thinking about the changes I want to make to my life, and so, this blog was born! I want to document my journey back to fitness, particularly as I explore my new-found addiction to cycling (I’m planning on joining the social cycle club that the centre runs, and I’m signing up for the Great Dublin Bike Ride – more info here – as soon as I get paid!).
I want this blog to be more than that though. I’m a part-time PhD student, juggling several jobs and work experience positions, and I want to have a place to document all of these things and more. If you’re interested, welcome, lovely to have you, feel free to get in touch and say hello. If not, no worries, I wish you well on your own journey!