Exercise Helps Me Recover

For the first time in more than five years, I rode the entire circle trail today. 24 miles. It took us two full hours of pedaling. The headwind was strong in more than a few portions of the trail.

We also stopped at Endurance House and bought me a new helmet! My helmet was more than 11 years old and was starting to break down. Ron Duncan thinks my brain is very important so he helped me find a new brain protector. Let’s hope I never need to test it’s strength.

I’d forgotten how much I enjoy riding with Ron. I’d also forgotten how hard the hills on Seymour Highway are! Especially going into a strong wind at the end of our ride.

But as my husband often says, “It’s a hill. Get over it!”

In July, just a couple of weeks after E passed, Ron and two friends coerced me into getting on my bike. I really did not want to ride. But…peer pressure. So I rode nine slow miles with them.

Nine years ago, in the weeks after The Accident, a sweet friend came to my house twice each week. She’d greet me then ask me to walk with her. Some days I would; other days I wouldn’t get off the couch. Some days I’d talk for three miles about my son and grief; Sarah would listen. Other days I’d ask her to talk, to tell me about any except death. She would. She helped me recover.

After I rode nine very slow miles this past July, a group of ladies invited me to ride with them a couple of times each week. These ladies knew what I had been through. They were faster and stronger than me. They can ride much farther than I can. Yet, twice each week, we would ride at my pace. We’d go however far I could. One day I sat at a picnic table to rest while they rode another few miles. They rode fast then turned around and picked me up, riding back to our cars at my pace. They helped me recover from the challenges of the past few years.

Ron can ride much faster than me. He regularly rides fast and long. Today he gladly rode at my pace, stopping when I needed to stop. He patiently rode up the hills as slow as I did. He loves me well. He walks through recovery with me.

Since Andrew died I have struggled with depression and discouragement. Exercise helps me overcome these two struggles. Getting outside to walk, wog, or ride helps my recovery.

I’ll never win races, nor do I have delusions that I’ll be as strong as I was a decade ago. But I am grateful I can move, I can swim, I can wog, and I can ride up the hills on Seymour Highway.

If you ever want a riding buddy or someone to walk with, give me a call. Perhaps we can help each other recover.

cycling, Friendship, Recovery


KathleenBDuncan

I write about my life, my journey, my family, and my faith. I am wife to one, mom to seven with one in heaven, and grandmother to many. I am also full-time caregiver to my stepmom E who suffers from dementia due to Alzheimer’s. In my spare time I like to read, travel, crochet, bike, and play with our black pug Molly.

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