Beyond happiness

Sometimes I really do wonder why I do it. Why, in god’s name, am I out on my bike when it’s cold, wet and miserable? Every turn of the cranks is a huge effort and I feel like I’m pedalling squares. Hands have gone numb from the cold and I stopped being able to feel my feet about two minute into the ride. It hurts to breathe because the air is so cold. It’s a torture of my own devising.

And then there are days like today.

That’s not to say it wasn’t cold – it was (4°C). And indeed, my hands did go numb. When they finally warmed up, it was time to not being able to feel my feet. But you know what? It didn’t matter.

On occasion, I manage to feel that elusive cyclists’ high. It’s something beyond the endorphins that have been released. It’s beyond feeling happy. The closest I can come to describing it is that it’s a sensation of fierce joy. Like I could take on the entire world. I want to scream to the sky that I’m here, that I’m truly alive. It’s a high unlike anything else.

This isn’t to say it doesn’t hurt. It does. The cold seeps into every part of my body and to breathe is like breathing in ice. My face hurts, my teeth hurt, my nose goes numb but I am alive in that moment in a way I can never be in my everyday life. My heart pounds and my whole body shakes from the effort. It’s cold, so cold, but somehow that makes it even better. In the moment, I feel like I’m best version of myself that I can possibly be. I’m strong, in control, capable, fierce and utterly blissed out. I rise above all monotony in my life and everything is so clear. All that matters is the moment, the joy I feel. It’s truly living in the moment.

“The bicycle has a soul. If you succeed to love it, it will give you emotions that you will never forget.”
– Mario Cipollini

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