Cycling Stories

Holidays Without the Holidaze

December 19, 2019

Holidays Without the Holidaze

“Santa already has his sassy sleigh. Let us pedal like magical elves and enjoy a pastime that can empower our lives, relieve stress, and improve our health and wellness.” – Stacy Shaneyfelt

Cycling is an Act of Self (and Family) Love

Amid today’s mega-mindfulness trends, let’s pause and engage in a simple, yet profound, lesson in back-to-the-basics family fitness and holistic health: cycling! It’s an act of self-love and family bonding.

Let’s gift ourselves, and our loved ones, cycling’s present of presence. This is especially crucial around the holidays when our stockings are over-stuffed, and our stress levels are maxed out.

Santa already has his sassy sleigh. Let us pedal like magical elves and enjoy a pastime that can empower our lives, relieve stress, and improve our health and wellness.

There are many advantages to cycling. Whether you’re a family of one or 21, cycling offers an excellent, inclusive way to connect with nature, energize your mind, activate your body, and invigorate your spirit and soul.

Have kids? Pop on some training wheels, don a colorful troll helmet, add some bling to their baskets, rock Rudolph’s fuzzy antlers, or cruise with some jazzy jingle bells.

Regardless of ages, personalities, locations, schedules, temperatures, fitness levels, or lifestyle needs, you can make cycling a positive—and fun! —experience for your family.

Unstuffing Ourselves Through Cycling

On a recent Thanksgiving vacation in rural West Virginia, our family chose cycling at a low-key resort as a way to “unstuff” following our feeding frenzy, along with the general “mindfullness” of the holiday season.

We didn’t realize until we were headed out the door that we forgot our helmets at home, and the resort, unfortunately, didn’t offer rentals. During the ride, the chain broke on my oldest daughter’s bike about halfway around the lake, which meant my husband had to push her the rest of the way.

Still, the experience of cycling among nature was enjoyable, with the fabulous fall foliage fading into the light of a stunning sunset. It also gave us opportunities to challenge ourselves, witness wildlife, bond with one another, and learn lessons in patience, resilience, teamwork, and autonomy.

And my husband got a nice cardio and upper body workout, while I strolled our toddler along!

Cycling teaches us to enjoy the ride more than the destination. It also affirms the value of being totally in the moment.

Decreased Screen Time, Improved Experiences

I’ve learned that another incredible merit of cycling is that it equips families and individuals with an affordable and welcoming way to digitally detox from gadgets, phones, Facebook, and other addictive technologies that zap our sleep patterns, annihilate our open, face-to-face communications, steal our time, and seal us into sedentary cement statues.

A tech timeout: what a brilliant tool to give yourselves and your families.

What are you waiting for? Get on your bikes after work today and pedal for family pleasure and power!

Experiences, Not Things

As a mindful Mamacita of two, we need to help our kids learn to appreciate experiences more than things. And cycling does just that.

Whether it’s on the trails in the Pyrenees, rolling over the pavement at the local park here in Pittsburgh, on a gravel farm in Ohio, or going no further than one’s driveway, cycling can help all of us approach the holidays with more mindfulness, fitness, family unity, health, and nature.

So, forego the refills on your eggnog this year, and ride your bike instead! You can experience the holidays without the holiDAZE as you cycle for happiness.

Let’s ho, ho, ho on our bikes as we go!

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Stacy works as a virtual freelancer, private English and ESL tutor, online editor/proofreader, and blogger. She enjoys film, coffee, art, and all things mindful!

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