It’s More about the Effort than the Bike!

In Lance Armstrong’s 2000 year autobiography, “it’s not about the bike” – his message, 12 years later remains clear, strong and more important than ever.

Moving well has less to do with things outside of us, than it does with the decisions and efforts we make from within to stay responsible for our health. Both in his case to become a world champion cyclist and a world class healer, this principle rings true.

This past summer, my son Max, went from being six to seven. He had as a goal to ride a two wheel bike without any assistance before his seventh birthday and he did. It was the long weekend of August the day before he turned 7, I was proud of him, but not only for meeting the goal, but also for discovering a principle he will carry with him the rest of his life. That is so long as he kept the pedals moving it was easier to keep going than to fall.

And so it is with cycling around the world. A sport and mode of transportation that carries us, if wallow it, to a far deeper understanding of what it means to be human if we open up to it.

For so many in our community ,I see us thinking we’re moving well by scheduling time in our day to hop on the treadmill or join a favourite fitness class, and although it is all well and good – it is really less about that as it is this idea that says, are you keeping your pedals moving and finding the joy in doing so in your goal to get from point A to B with your health?    

So indeed life is just that, movement. And our goal is to take responsibility every day for keeping our bikes of life and health moving forward too. It’s one thing to have to make the effort to get the bike to move, but it’s quite another to have to make the effort to navigate the rolling landscapes, as we do in life, knowing that unless you do, not only will you fall, but you won’t get to where you need to go.

This month we salute all the road cyclers, spinners, mountain bikers, real riders and tricycle riders as we acknowledge the metaphor of health they stand for. We also congratulate all those who choose to commute by using their bodies today and those companies and city councilors who support it too like the PBSC BIXI programs we see in Montreal, Ottawa, Paris and coming to Toronto too.

Especially nowadays, where we want more and more quick fix, quick message and quick information, the irony of health remains that it is the time spent, effort made and discipline to work with pain that will really give you what you want and take you where you really want to go when it comes to your health.

For those of you who need to drive, you can still make the effort by finding a great gym or spin class to join. As a Chiropractor, I love hearing our practice members tell us they’ve decided to take up spinning or mountain biking. If you’re one of those actually biking daily to work or school, you are saluted too. See if you can keep your intensity high and make sure you’re stretching too. Below are 5 movement patterns and exercises designed to help minimize the stresses of the cycling on a healthy spine and nerve system.

  1. Stretch Chest to Sky Stretch: Clasp hands together and reach arms high and chest out while extending spine and looking up & back. Stand on tippy toes to add value and keep your balance while reaching as high as you can. Breathe through the stretch..
  2. Wall and Forced Yawn Stretch: Find wall and bring feet to touch. Put hands on the wall at shoulder levels and bring chest and nose to wall. Look up and relax shoulders brining shoulder blades together. Lean pelvis into wall and breath through the stretch.
  3. Kneeling Quad Stretch: Kneel on one foot and the knee of the other leg. If needed, hold on to something to keep your balance and then push your hips forward.
  4. Single Heel-drop Achilles Stretch: Stand on a raised object or step and place the ball of one foot on the edge of the step. Bend your knee slightly and let your heel drop towards the ground.  
  5. Lying Knee Roll-over Stretch: While on your back, bend your knees and let them fall to one side. Keep your arms out to the sides and let your back and hips rotate with your knees.

To learn more about how you move better this fall, join us for our next V-Care workshop Wednesday, October 26th 6:10pm. Seats are limited so call to reserve yours for yourself and a family member today!