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Cycling Kept me Sane

The title may sound like a little bit of a hyperbole, but I can assure you that cycling very much kept me sane through what was in my opinion a very turbulent childhood (though not at all a bad one). I don’t claim that it was some experience unique to cycling that allowed me not to go mad during my teenage years—and a lot of my peers had their own way of coping, such as collecting pens and stamps, or playing football on the team, or learning new languages—but for me it was cycling that kept me going.
My mother worked for a large multinational company when I was growing up and as an architect project manager she would be posted all over the world to oversee the construction of a new factory or office building. This usually entailed us moving about every three to five years and some the countries we lived in were Argentina, India, France, Germany, Mexico, and the UK. Looking back I certainly don’t regret any of how I grew up and I’m very thankful to my parents for exposing me to different cultures, food, and languages early on in life as I think that’s something that has kept me a calm and open-minded person (or at least I hope to be).
Moving round so much was, however, at the time when I was still too young to really understand why we were moving and why every time I seemed to get settled into a new routine and place I was taking away from it in a time before social media in which it was for more difficult to stay in touch with friends.
The way I dealt with some of the challenges of regularly losing friends was by cycling. As most sports do it was the perfect way for me to burn off some of the repressed anger I had about moving so much and it was also a time every day or every couple of days for me to spend an hour or two in my mind and clear my thoughts.
While it just as easily could have been some other sport or hobby, in my opinion cycling was by far what got me through my teenage and childhood years.