In my job I easily covered the 10,000 steps we are urged to do every day. Now, with lockdown in place, some days I was struggling to reach several hundred steps!Add in the fact that I am now cooking, baking and eating more and better than I think I ever have in my life before, then my daily exercise was absolutely required! So, what exercise was I going to do? I do love to walk and have been known to run even, but my toes have arthritis in them and are quite sore, so long walks were just not an option.
So, I started cycling, this is only possible just now because there are not as many cars on the road, as I am quite a nervous cyclist but oh my, I am enjoying it so much. Yes, I have fallen off. Yes, I have aching muscles. Yes, I have a bruised stomach from all my emergency stops into the handle bars, but for the good of my mental health this has been a life saver. We are all coping with getting through these difficult times in different ways and I have never liked being cooped up inside, I need to get out each day. I was becoming anxious as I watched the daily news and heard about the rising deaths due to Covid-19. I was not sleeping well during the night and then sleeping too late into the day. Then I felt down on myself if my day was totally unproductive. I was constantly worrying so much about all those I love and praying they would make it through this time safely.
There can be no doubt about the increased feel good factor of exercise, the endorphins being released boosting your mood and I can certainly vouch for that. If I miss a day out on my bike, my mood alters quite significantly. Add to that the bonus of the beauty of our surrounding area, which is totally awesome, and I thank God every day for his creation. On my cycle I have time to reflect and pray. This is my time alone with God and it is just so refreshing and so energising.
I feel blessed that I now have the time and the ability to get out and rediscover this wonderful countryside. I say rediscover as I used to ride around Banchory by horse when I was younger and again that was back in a time when it was safe to do so. This time in lockdown, is taking me back to when I was about 14/16 and spent a lot of time, all my free time in fact, riding around Banchory. There is hardly a country road in this area that I did not explore by horseback, back in the day, or that I am not enjoying now by bike. I feel like I am a teenager on an extended summer holiday when I am out on my bike. I have been from Banchory to Duthie Park and back, up to Aboyne and back, all on the Deeside way. (Please don’t tell on me, yes, it did take longer than my allocated hour!) Sadly I have not yet seen the Banchory Otters but I look out for them almost daily and if I do see them then I will be ecstatic. I have explored all the back roads from Raemoir, down to Hirn, to Flora’s, Hopton, and all the roads in between there and to Cullerlie. All these roads lead down to Culter or Drumoak depending on how far I have gone and I have even discovered the delight of the Park shoppe, having never been in before. A treat not to be missed and one I will enjoy even more when I can shop there bringing bags to take home my wonderful purchases, not just the wee backpack I take with me on the bike rides. In the other direction Torphins is a great distance to cycle, over to Kinker and home by Potarch. Within the trampoline club we are trying to exercise our way “around the world” together. I have cycled far enough now to have visited my brother in London and my next stop is Paris. So far I have cycled over 900km!
So, thank you Nicola, or Boris, or whoever it was that encouraged us to get out there and be active. This is something I really want to keep up in the future, hopefully one day soon I will be able to cycle and then have my swim. I am just wondering though, will I have the time to go back to work!
Banchory East Church
A journal of the life of the East Church through our members and congregation.
We post on Tuesday and Thursdays. but not always every week.