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Katherine’s Story: #myrideto Wellness

March 13, 2014

This is a more common story than you think. Even around the shop. Finding the bike and riding it to wellness. We all have to start, or maybe even restart, somewhere. So whether it’s your first foray into cycling with one of our get started bike and accessory packages or you’re climbing on a bike that’s been collecting more dust than miles, Katherine’s story will resonate with you like it did with us.

Katherine’s Ride to Wellness

One morning I realized my life could be different.

I had a serious back injury, which required major surgery. I was so depressed with my life, the constant pain in my spine and leg and the frustrations of limited mobility, that I gained weight to the point of weighing about 270 pounds. I am not exactly sure what made me have that epiphany years ago. All I know is I realized my life didn’t have to be horrible.I decided to take action. I knew I needed help. I called a medical doctor, a counselor and a nutritionist. I wanted a doctor to verify my medical health and ability to work out. I wanted a counselor to address my sadness and behavior with food. And, I wanted a nutritionist to learn how to eat properly. Realizing I needed to lose 135 pounds was quite overwhelming. I decided to look at my weight loss one pound at a time.

My fitness plan started at the gym. I had always used the stationary bike to get my heart rate going, to prepare for lifting. And, I would finish with the stationary bike. After my second spine surgery, I had my physical therapist design a workout to strengthen the muscles around my spine and my overall body strength. The cardio that didn’t cause me pain was the stationary bicycle.

After my recovery, a friend of mine bought a bicycle and she encouraged me to ride with her.  At first, I was afraid to ride a bicycle for many reasons. Plus, I still weighted a lot – about 225 pounds. But I remembered how much I enjoyed riding as a kid. My friend Andrea was so excited about riding her bike that I went to a bike store and picked out a hybrid bike and started riding my bike in my neighborhood. Then I would go on rides with my friends at Cape Ann, Massachusetts. I really enjoyed cycling and it was a great way to spend time with my friends.

A few years later I moved to Austin. My friend, Tim, encouraged me to ride again. And he encouraged me to sign up for a cycling event.  I took my bike to Bicycle Sport Shop to get new tires and a tune up. Everyone at Bicycle Sport Shop was so nice and knowledgeable and encouraging. I found myself going there to buy gear (clothes, inner tubes and stuff).  Eventually, I went to Bicycle Sport Shop and picked out an awesome Specialized Ruby.  My bike ROCKS!

Everyone at Bicycle Sport Shop has always been so kind and knowledgeable. They are always enthusiastic about cycling and, probably most importantly, I didn’t feel judged or looked down upon for not having the perfect “cyclist body”.  The people at Bicycle Sport Shop worked with me for many hours to find solutions to my challenges with the right gear and fit. The people at BSS didn’t judge me, they went above and beyond to help me, and have done nothing but encourage me with my cycling and health goals.  I am forever grateful.

There are so many benefits to cycling for me.  Cycling can make my bad day turn to a great day because it’s FUN.  Cycling aides in my weight loss and overall makes me feel better.  I have lost 114 pounds (only a few more pounds to go!) And, cycling doesn’t hurt my hips or spine after 2 major back surgeries.

I have met so many awesome people riding. And, I have made wonderful friendships.

Cycling is also EMPOWERING. I am amazed at how I feel when I climb that hill or further my distance. Life has its challenges. Somehow, conquering a hill on my bicycle makes me feel like I can conquer anything.

Overall, cycling is a healthy, fun, inexpensive thing to do with your friends that promotes a healthy life style and encouragement.

Go to Bicycle Sport Shop. Rent a bike and ride in a beginner group ride. You might have fun cycling and meeting people and starting your own journey on a bike!

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