Naples, Florida, USA / @janeofarc321
My first Fuji was…
a Red Fuji Absolute 1.3
What kind of impact did cycling have on your life?
Ever have times in your life where you need to just get away? Get out of your head? Find a way to have wings and fly? I hadn’t ridden a bicycle in years and had just gone through a traumatic experience the night before, and walked into a local bike shop where I knew the owner. There was a little small talk. He asked me if I was okay to which I replied, no, I wasn’t.
He pulled this red Fuji down off the rack and said, I know what you need. Like handing over the keys to a car, a car which I had ridden once prior, the Fuji I was encouraged to take a stroll with. Out in nature for a few minutes, to help clear my head as I was unbeknownst to him, holding back tears.
I didn’t just take a leisurely stroll. I flew. I rode as hard and fast as I possibly could. That day on that Fuji bike, I found my wings. My way to escape when I needed to. And the most important thing about it, was it felt good!
Three months passed and I couldn’t get my mind off of that bike. In my state of mind that day I rode it, it kind of saved my life. I knew in my heart that I needed it for not just my health but my sanity. I even recall being at the shop one day and a woman was riding a few bikes to see what she wanted to buy and secretly saying a selfish prayer as she rode “my Fuji”, “no, not that one. That one is mine.” I worried over the next two weeks after that, that someone may come back and take “my bike.”
I finally went back to the store, again relief it was there, proudly sitting on the rack. The owner, hesitant when I said I was buying the Fuji I had ridden, out of concern that I am a single mother of four boys and work two jobs, was worried about the expense. I boldly said, “Look, I’ve factored this in and have wanted that one in particular for three months now. I’m not JUST buying a bike...I’m investing in MYSELF. Now take it off the rack and ring it up!”
Since I began riding my Fuji, I’ve gotten the cycling bug. From not riding at all since a kid to joining an event to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, to riding up to 31.6 miles with a goal to ride a metric century by the end of the year, to finding cool little sprints and trails that I can compete against other cyclists and just this week hold the fastest sprint on this one segment of women all time and men ranked fourth, even though it’s a hybrid! I’ve found self esteem, self awareness, and my new go to for living a healthy life.
As a registered nurse, especially as of late, I’m so grateful I have my Fuji. There’s been some tough days let me tell you and having an outlet to let go of the stress has been instrumental to my own wellbeing. I have advocated for others too, if they are able to, to get outside and RIDE! How important being in nature, in fresh air, and in sunlight is just as healing and important! And during times of social distancing, I’ve even joked, use your wings and fly, ride faster to keep your distance!
I’m a “newbie” to cycling but boy do I have goals...not dreams...goals. Goals are attainable and I will! This single mother is showing her boys strength through adversity. Move a muscle, change a thought. And that I will crush my goals...just watch me!
To the maker of my lifeline, thank you. You saved me too! Thank you Fuji Bikes.