The Transformation of an Overweight, Unlikely Cyclist

I assumed both the physical and emotional discomfort would prove too powerful an adversary for her. I was wrong.

Inspiration and the Unlikely Cyclist

I'm fortunate to live in the quiet countryside just outside of a large metropolitan area. The roads in this area have very little traffic and are perfect for cycling. Nearly every day I see very fit, spandex-clad cyclists riding nearby. Their level of fitness and speed are quite impressive.

But there is one unlikely cyclist who has inspired me the most. The first time I saw her riding, she was significantly overweight, had very poor riding form, and was struggling to control the bicycle. Her bike was new so I assumed she had just begun her mission to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. I was impressed that she had the determination to get out and ride, as uncomfortable as it must have been for her.

But if I'm being completely honest, I didn't expect she would continue. I assumed both the physical and emotional discomfort would prove too powerful an adversary for her.

Then I saw her a few days later, still struggling on the bicycle. Then again.  And again. Weeks turned to months, and she continued to ride. And the transformation was amazing. She was losing weight and gaining strength, comfort, and confidence.

Four years later, I still see her riding. She is one of the very fit, spandex-clad cyclists who ride nearby. And though I've never met her, she continues to inspire and challenge me.

Brian DeLay

Brian DeLay is an airline pilot living in the Midwest with his wife and three children. As an avid runner and cyclist he has completed numerous half-marathons, marathons, and cycling "century" rides, and serves as the race director for the Run for the Ridge 5K. His favorite activities are those he shares with his family. Visit Brian on Google+

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