Bicycling Brought Me Back to Life

Julie Ann Williams - Minneapolis, MN

Bicycling Brought Me Back to Life

I’ve been a casual rider since I was young. But after a significant (bad) breakup in 2010, I started riding more seriously. I had been a serial monogamist since my early college years, and found that I really didn’t know how to be alone. More significantly, I didn’t know me. It was a dark time in my life, and I had a lot of soul-searching to do. Most of my interests and hobbies were wrapped up in my past significant others. I didn’t have much that was truly for me, or that I enjoyed enough to do without them. And now I had lots of free time to fill. I couldn’t just sit around being sad – that was no way to live. Earlier that year, a friend of mine convinced me to try spinning classes with her. I was hooked. At the time, I had a commuter bike that I used for casual errands. So, I traded it in for a road bike and joined a cycling club. I started going on group rides and making new friends, and soon I was part of a community. What started as a hobby -- a thing to try to pull me out of my funk -- turned into a passion. A year later, I joined a RAGBRAI team and rode all 510 miles of RAGBRAI XL. That included the century day! If you would have asked me a few years ago if I would ever ride a bicycle over 100 miles in a single day, I would have told you you’re crazy. Bicycling helped me find something inside myself that I never knew I had – a strength and confidence that I thought I could only have if I was part of a relationship, and never thought to look for on my own. Now I know that is the only way to truly feel fulfilled. I had to learn to love myself first. And bicycling helped me do that.

blog comments powered by Disqus