A Mindful Cycle

I have mentioned before how starting to cycle again has really helped me get relief from my tinnitus. My doctor mentioned that it's the wind blowing past my ear that diffuses the sound so I can escape the constant whistling sound. While I have since discovered other means of distraction - much as meditation and being mindful - I have now started to discover other benefits of cycling apart from the obvious fitness side. Cycling has definitely made me feel more present. I notice my surroundings more and really embrace the freedom of the feeling of being on the bike. As an added bonus, my husband - who introduced me to cycling - and both my children also love it so it has become a great way to spend an hour on a saturday or a sunday.

We are also very fortunate to have the majestic River Shannon on our doorstep with a cycle path that goes from our house directly out to the stunning grounds of the University of Limerick. On a clear winters day it is one of the best feelings in the world to cycle along the banks of the shannon and stop along the way to see the swans and the ducks. My children absolutely love it and since I became open to Mindfulness I have learned how wonderful it is to appreciate these things even more. In a world where we are obsessed with perfection and appearance we all need to stand back and really see the beauty in everything. I mean really notice things. Before I started on my Mindful journey I would have frequently visited the ducks with the lads but I would still have probably had 101 other things going on in my head at the same time so while I saw the ducks I probably didn't really see them. Now I can sit there and watch them with my family and really notice and enjoy those moments in a different way. It's those moments on our cycles that I really enjoy. It's looking at the architecture while cycling around UL's campus along with seeing the shadows of my children on their bikes as we're cycling along. It's knowing that they enjoy it too as there will be plenty of days when they'll say I don't want to go and that's fine to but for the moment I will enjoy the ones when they do.

Learning To Cycle Again - how cycling has helped my tinnitus

Until recently, I hadn't cycled a bike since I was a child. Like most people my days of scooting around on my Raleigh Burner were well and truly over since I became a mum. Even the thoughts of cycling again scared me! My husband has always been into cycling and really enjoyed taking the kids out on their bikes so I decided to give it a go! I was a bit shaky at first - and to the amusement of my 2 children it took me a while to get my confidence back. Now just to clarify - by no means am I going to be competing in the Tour de France or anything - I just mean going for a cycle along the banks of the River Shannon with my family. But I was still cycling - something I hadn't done in years. 

What I didn't realise at the time though that getting back on my bike would become a form of therapy for me. After I was struck with my tinnitus in September 2014 I soon realised that the only time the ringing in my ear would leave me was when I was on my bike. It is as if the sound of the wind passing my ear drowns out the sound of the ringing. It's such a sense of freedom - not just from the obvious feeling of cycling but for me freedom from the ringing in my ear. It has also become something that I can enjoy with my family and a great way to spend time with my children. 

A view on the Shannon River on one of my cycles

A view on the Shannon River on one of my cycles