I don’t count calories, gym gains, or my weight, but I keep myself in what I like to call “Life Shape.” If a friend invites me to hike, I know my body can, if I’m invited to Kayak the ocean, I know I can, and if I decide to ride my bike across America, I know I’ll be able to.
Prior to the ride, I was pretty consistent with my daily practices. I slept for 8–9 hours, I ate plants, I moved naturally, and I meditated each morning. Knowing how great I felt when my day was built on this foundation, I made a daily check-list for the ride in the notes app on my iPhone.
Wake up, Meditate, 5 Minute Yoga, Hydrate, Snack, Check-Bike, Ride.
As minimal as I could go while still touching all the pieces I felt necessary.
By the time I reached New Jersey, at the beginning of week 2, one of these was already forgotten. I had lost my meditation practice.
I sit on the same pillow, in the same corner of the same room each day for my practice, and finding comfort in new places, and the confidence to practice in public was uncomfortable. I didn’t have the discipline to keep this practice despite my awareness of its benefits. I deleted Meditate from my morning list.
Later that week, I deleted 5 Minute Yoga. I justified this by explaining to myself that if I used riding a stationary bike to warm-up for exercises in a gym, then why don’t I just use the first few miles of each day’s ride to warm up and get into my body, it will save me time. I must have forgotten my two herniated discs that the morning yoga helped alleviate pain from.
Sleep and my diet came next, though I forget in which order. I found myself glued to my phone until my eyes closed and checking it first thing in the morning. Not only did this affect the length and quality of my sleep, but it created a dependency and interfered with my ability to process the ride. I became obsessed with engagement. How many views did a video get, how many reads on my latest writing, how many liked my Instagram post or responded to my story that day? It was unhealthy and dishonest. I…