Sr Inez, fcJ from the Yogyakarta community, went cycling on Mount Merapi skirts with a group of university students. She shares some of their reflections on the experience.
One Saturday morning, together with some students, I cycled up the mountain. The destination was Jurang Jero park, on the slope of the Mount Merapi volcano. The trip took about one hour. Here are some of our reflections:
Cycling is an art of handling the bike and understanding yourself. You need to know how to operate the bike and understand your body. As you pedal further, the heartbeat goes faster, the breath is shorter (beware: you can develop a headache from lacking of oxygen), and the muscles work harder. You hold on the handlebar, move the shift levers, and focus on your breath and body.
At one point you had to ask yourself to push a little bit more, be patient more and not to give up easily. However, occasionally you had to admit your limit.
It was OK to step down to get a breath and give the body a rest. Having a destination gave a sense of purpose. Inner freedom made the journey joyful and meaningful.
Companionship was also important because when you were about to give up, friends cheered you up to continue.
The art of cycling is like the art of living, the students said. Before we went home, they asked: “Sr. Inez, when will we do it again?”