Cycling is the best way to stay fit, enjoy the outdoors, and have fun. I started cycling as my very first CAS experience because it’s easier on my body with less commitment. I had not stepped out of my house for almost 5 months due to the global pandemic, it made me realize I wasn’t working on my fitness. The lockdown had affected both physical and mental health. I decided to start with cycling as it provides an efficient low-impact cardiovascular workout. It builds muscle in the lower body, which advances strength, endurance, stability, and balance.
LO1- Identify own strengths and develop areas of growth
From the very first day, I had started to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the sport. I was unable to cycle long distances with constant speed. Every time I pushed myself I was exhausted with body pain and was barely able to sit on the cycle the next day. I decided to overcome my weaknesses by participating in cyclothon, and making regular cycling sessions.
Focusing to recognize my strengths and weaknesses helped me understand how weakness is not my downfall but an opportunity to improve with a goal, and strength is my leverage which usually comes naturally however, pushing further will only let me grow.
LO2- Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process.
I came across various challenges in the span of 4 months of cycling. The major challenge I faced was waking up early in the morning. I had to push myself from the bed to get ready and go out. The crucial 5 mins in the morning decided my will power for the entire day. Soon after, It grew into an activity I would love to wake up for. It helped me get out of my comfort zone and learned how to use my mornings creatively. My cycling session slot was 7:00 am – 8:30 am. This allowed me to attend my school on time which starts sharp at 9:00 am till 2:30 pm. In the initial days, waking up daily was quite exhausting and it affected my schedule of the remaining hours of the day. It was tempting to take a day off to wake up and so I decided to go cycling 5 days a week as per my will.
Another difficulty I faced was to overcome my weaknesses. At the start I was able to go long distances with low speed however, I was unable to do so with greater speed. I followed my cycling sessions religiously and it helped me develop stamina. Shortly afterward, I began by increasing my speed slowly. The overall process of building stamina and increasing speed was unrushed however, it helped me from not experiencing severe body pain.
LO3- Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.
I have not only developed but discovered many ways to become more responsible or to motivate myself. It was either from the help of apps or simple to-do lists or occasional sugar rush or the fun to have a conversation with a friend while riding. Despite the use of tools, personal management is the most important skill which takes a lot of effort. However, I have come a long way with it and can say I have improved to a great extent. I used apps like “done”, and “sports tracker” to keep track of how often I go cycling and how much I cycle on my everyday route. It is important to plan a schedule and organize the day with all the tasks which are to be done. These apps gave me an incentive to regularly complete my cycling sessions without convincing myself to give excuses for avoiding cycling.
LO4-Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences.
Apart from its physical benefits it also helped me to relieve the stress of work. Sometimes, Intense school work often restricts me from outdoor activities. However, I knew cycling would allow me to reach serenity simply because it’s a way out of my everyday routine. Moreover, I came across the most basic life skills such as observing, being independent, responsible, and many more which grew out the better in me. Perseverance and commitment towards the sport were very important by maintaining a schedule routinely. It was difficult to manage time with school timings and work, to wake up early, to set a goal for distance to travel each day but my commitment to it helped me grow.
LO6- Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance.
After encountering the global coronavirus pandemic, every global citizen has been more observant towards their health and the environment they live in. This leads to awareness of many environmental issues, one of which is air pollution. I started to do my bit by cycling. As time passed I started to see this trend of my friends joining me or going in groups individually. I not only used my cycle for early morning workouts but also whenever I can for nearby work. This reduces my carbon footprint as a green method of transportation.
At last, cycling is a fun activity that allowed me to revive my senses which were weakened by staying indoors due to the pandemic. The sport was quite beneficial for my mental and physical health, moreover, it’s beneficial for the environment and society as a whole too. I learned many new life skills such as management, independence, fitness, and a green method of transportation. It was a wonderful experience that allowed me to step out of my everyday routine and be relaxed without concerning pending tasks. I enjoyed the sport and how it energized me for the rest of the day. I will continue to cycle for myself further despite the completion of it as a CAS experience.