Post Alert: Slightly long post, but honest to God, you won’t regret it.
V is for Valiant & Victorious Ride
12 February, 2017, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, Gurugram, New Delhi Capital Region, India
I’m an avid cyclist. A passion that I engage in it with as much ardor as writing. Though I wish I would ride more often, and have a time set aside each day to cycle, just like the way I have for writing. Well, hopefully someday soon that thought will turn that into a reality.
So last year, in 2016, I had a terrible back injury while running which eventually aggravated as I continued to do my strength training classes. I assumed it was just one of those sore back problems that crop in now and then. But there came a time when the pain became more than just chronic. I was barred from exercising and that felt worse than being deported to an island infested with dark, dreadful creatures. I felt I was falling into a dark abyss of sorts. I don’t like gaining weight, and the endorphins that my body releases when I exercise give me a high that is indescribable.
Cutting a long story short, so it was no cycling, no running, nothing for me for a few months. Just a few back exercises. What I missed the most was cycling, especially in the winter months when the weather is just so perfect to engage in this sport as the North India summers are scorching and can sometimes give you a sun stroke, if you are out too late in the day.
By January end I was determined to return to the saddle. I promised that I would start by slowly cycling a few miles each day till I reached my goal of cycling to my favourite cycling location, here in Gurugram, called Bhuvaneshwari Devi. The distance back and forth is about 21 kms. So after a two weeks of working on my strength and distance, and giving myself a deadline of by Valentine’s day (for the love of cycling), I eventually undertook this little journey to Bhuvaneshwari Devi with a fellow cyclist. My apprehensions had not receded yet. I was still unsure if i would be able to do the full stretch with my back not hurting. But I managed to cycle half the distance, which was to the destination; pretty comfortably.
Bhuvaneshwari Devi is a beautiful hamlet, by the hilly Aravallis, on Gurugram’s Sohna road. It’s on the road that leads to the CRPF (Police) camp and there are very few people who go there except some odd cyclists or visitors now and then. The place abounds in greenery and our national bird peacock. Every nook and corner of this magnificent location has peacocks. It’s a dream to cycle on the road that takes us through the canopied trees around which peacocks preen and frolic. Sometimes when we get lucky, we also sight a whole flock of parakeets. There is also a sprawling lake with blooming lotuses around which our bikes go zipping downhill. (Zipping down hill is the most exhilarating experience while cycling. It makes up for the arduous climb we have to undertake.) We then arrive at our destination which is the holy Bhuvaneshwari Devi temple. The ethereal aura of the place envelops us like a cloak of calmness. The temple is decorated with hundreds of fragrant flowers in the most striking patterns. The priest decorates them in unique patterns early each morning. We have never seen the patterns being replicated in the numerous journeys we have made here. The priests play the harmonium and tabla while they lend their voices to the Goddess with their religious renditions. Our, motive to burn all the calories goes out of the window as we can never resist the Prasad (offering) of Halwa (A sweet dish consisting of roasted semolina or whole wheat cooked with milk, almonds, sugar, clarified butter, and cardamom). This is one; is one of it’s kind, and extraordinarily delectable to say the least.
I pay obeisance to the Goddess and thank her for giving me the will and strength to get back with a bang. I even bribe her with a hundred rupee not, so that I can complete rest of the ride. Just kidding! It’s a tradition to make any amount of small offering if you can when you visit the temple. No pressure though. We walk to the meditative zone next to the monumental statue of Shiva the destroyer and carry out our ritual of clicking selfies. We can see the city and an unending stretch of green landscape from here. It’s a sight to behold early morning.
We cycle back home, comfortably. We are back in time for our morning cuppa. I’m feeling super chuffed as I’ve been like the valiant solder who had thought that it would be much long before she would be able to get back to the saddle. My Strava App says I have clocked 21.3 kms. A celebrate my victory by pampering myself with a nice spa.
It’s all about putting one’s mind, and having the will to do what you want to. Goal setting is critical, but so is the process of working on it. Goals can go to naught if we don’t work to make them happen. Accomplishing a goal can be the most gratifying thing ever. I believe in goal setting – broad goals every month and also weekly goals which I work towards. It helps me push myself a little harder and gives my life so much more meaning. This was one small journey of my life where I emerged victorious through goal setting. Do you set goals for yourself too? How do you go about working on them? Would love to hear your insights and experiences.
Acknowledgement: I would like to thank my friend and coach Susmita Sen for guiding me into this process of goal setting. A few months back I was a mighty big procrastinator and I thought I’d remain the same for the rest of my life. Today I’m a mighty big Goal Setter!
My theme for this year’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge is Travel Epiphanies that are my very own tales of adventure and revelation. I will be writing 26 posts throughout the month of April. You can read my theme here.