How Cycling Can Build Mental Strength
We have heard stories of extraordinary people cycling from Singapore to London, or the other way round, like this group of Scottish doctors who cycled 24,000KM on homemade bamboo bicycles.
Why did they do it, or how exactly they did do it? You might have world-class and professional services provided to you while you make the trip – but if you do not possess mental fortitude, even cycling 100KM will be daunting.
Here are 3 tips you can follow to build up your mental strength if you are looking to go the distance!
1. Loving the monotonous and mundane
Because of our work schedules, some of us do our daily cycling routines on the same path or route. We usually go the same direction providing no further stimulation beyond the occasional waves from friends or strangers you pass. For one of our colleagues, he decided to change it up one day, and took a new path, and it brought changes to his attitude towards cycling.
Cycling for long distances is not gorgeous. Involving many hours of doing the same thing repeatedly, over days, weeks or even years – until hard becomes easy. If you hate your routine, your brain will eat yourself inside-out.
Constantly remind yourself that cycling is a privilege requiring health and vitality, and that you should never take it for granted, even though it is another day of going 50KM around Yishun.
2. Practice cycling on joy
Happiness is a performance-enhancing emotion, and should be a joyful approach towards cycling.
When cycling, smile more. That seems simplistic, but it works. If you resolve every day to smile and laugh during cycling, and to encourage joy to well up inside you at every every opportunity, it gets more natural over time. The happier you are, the more you’ll believe in the process, and the faster you will cycle.
3. Remember the world doesn’t care
The body can do amazing things when your mind decides not to care too much.
Going to cycle around Singapore today? Let’s not care about it and do what you can. Bonking halfway, or even completing way longer than what you planned for should not weigh down on your mind too much.
While cycling alone: Write down what matters to you long-term. Look at it every day, internalise it and gain power from the relatively insignificant nature of how a race or training goes in the big scheme of things.
Take this chance to reflect on how small we are in this universe and perhaps you will also come to terms on how small your worries are!
Remember, a bicycle is just metal bent to hold you and 2 wheels together. It isn't rocket science, so neither is the next challenge in your life!