Pedalling My Way to Freedom

pretoria girl writes _ ilka steyn

In school, I was one of the biggest addicts of the arts. I enjoyed the stage more than anything. At one point, my mother made me choose between all my different activities because I was too busy. Athletics and netball were the first to go. I didn’t even hesitate, but don’t get me wrong. I also love sports. At that time, I simply enjoyed the stage more. It gave me a platform where I could express myself and have a break from reality, while I pretended to be someone else. So, if you told me that I would one day do the 94.7 Momentum Cycle Challenge, or a three-day mountain bike stage race, I would’ve told you – in detail – how crazy you are. And then I started to date a fitness enthusiast.


In the beginning, I supported him at every race I could, but I quickly got bored with being on the sideline. And there is nothing wrong with being on the sideline and cheering your loved ones on, I simply felt the need to join in on the fun. Long story short: I got a bicycle, had a few accidents, fought with my competitive boyfriend, and then fell in love with cycling. Doing something that you never thought you would do, or to be capable of doing something you didn’t know you could do, is an amazing learning experience. Every time I felt like giving up, my boyfriend (now, my husband) motivated me to keep on going. By doing this, I discovered that when you feel like giving up, you have at least 20% left inside you. You are always capable of going further than you think and you are stronger than you believe.


In cycling, when you reach a downhill, you tend to relax and sit back. But this is actually when you are supposed to be pedalling the hardest because the momentum will help you to get over the hill. This theory can also be applied in life. When everything is going well, you should be thankful, but you shouldn’t stop working hard. Working hard and staying motivated during the good times, will help you get through the bad times. It will give you hope and drive you forward. It was the wise Albert Einstein that once said: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”. Cycling has become more of a spiritual journey for me, where I learn more about religion, my life and who I truly am. Doing this sport has made me realise that no one is supposed to fit into the box that society thinks you should be in. You can be a creative artist and still take your sport seriously. I am a writer, a poet, an animal lover, a gardener, a cyclist, and whatever I decide to be tomorrow. I am the one who sets my boundaries, and no one else.

3 Comments Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.