Cycling in Brentwood

Piero is taking me through my paces once again. He is slowly increasing the weights and resistance that I can handle and also the number of exercises. I quite enjoy my workouts with Piero. They say you should be mindful in everything you do and concentrate on one thing at a time, but sometimes I let my mind wander. 

I was listening to a very shortened version of Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography earlier today. Great inspirational leaders are few and far between. Sometimes it comes in pint sized packages. Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager, is taking the world by storm and only time will tell how great a champion she will become. The damage the carbon dioxide emission is creating and the resultant climate change is causing is enormous. Greta became concerned and started a solo protest. Slowly people joined in. This is how the climate change protests started. The tiny ripples became great waves, they then created tsunamis around the world and the politicians are sitting up and taking notice.

 I read that integrity and courage are two essential qualities a leader needs. Integrity, a small word which speaks volumes. My friend Asha has that in oodles and with her inimitable style and flair she has raised the SCT institute to great heights. She makes the task look easy and accolades are pouring in. The sky is the limit and that it where she is taking it and that is how I think great leaders inspire their team. 

As I drive home, I notice Sir Alan Sugar’s Rolls in front of me. The car in itself has become a celebrity after being shown in the credits of his TV show ‘The Apprentice’. Thick clouds cover the sky and I wonder if my afternoon plans are in jeopardy. Luckily the clouds lift and we drive down to Thornton country park. Over the school holidays the park is open on a weekday and they hire out bicycles. I haven’t ridden a bike since my first lesson a few weeks ago. I need to practice. 

The park looks a deserted and I am glad. This is where I came with Lakshmi to do the Gruffalo trail. As we collect the bike and walk to find an area where the path is flat a couple of elderly ladies are taking their grandchildren home. I tell them that I’m trying to learn to ride a bike in my old age. One of the ladies is quite encouraging and gives me tips. We find an isolated spot where bluebells cover the grounds of the wooded area giving it a bluish lilac shade. 

I need lots of practice, but am slowly getting the hang of it. I keep forgetting that there is a brake that I need to use to stop the bike rather than coming off it. Sometimes I can stay on it for a few seconds and other times the bike controls me. At one point I whizz down a slight slope and unable to stop the bike fall off it. Murali, instead of helping me up, stands, watches and chuckles that he was not quick enough to tape the whole incident. I think I have aggravated my thumb injury from which I was slowly recovering. My knees are scraped, ankles sore and arms aching by the time I give up, but I am extremely pleased to quell the myth I held about missing my chance. 

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