Sweat dripping into my eyes, blurring my vision. My legs feel weak, making it difficult to pedal. I pause and allow myself to take a deep breath before speeding down hill. The adrenaline rushing through my veins, and the thrilling thought of what is to come next demands my body to get ready and keep going. I speed down the hill narrowly missing a couple of big jagged stones sticking up through the trail and trees. The intensity and extremity of mountain biking make it undoubtedly my favorite sport. Furthermore, mountain biking is my favorite sport because it is great for the body and mind, it brings about a challenge, and it allows me to have a positive environmental impact.
Mountain bike riding is a great way to exercise both the body and mind. It is a sport that allows you to build muscle in addition to building up your cardiovascular endurance. It targets almost every muscle in the body, particularly arms, abs, shoulders and legs. Furthermore, it is a great way to boost your energy, remain in shape, and in fact according to many studies, by biking at least three hours per week, your chances of heart disease can be decreased by approximately 50 percent. However, the biggest benefit from mountain biking is being able to exercise outdoors. It allows the mind to open up and expand its thoughts. Personally, I get a sense of clarity and I feel more in tune with details. There are also no worries, doubts or fears crossing my mind.
Aside from the unquestionable benefits for the body and mind, mountain biking inspires a great sense of confidence and authority. Before and as I take on the many obstacles and hurdles in the trails, I either plan or have to think on the spot to prevent injury. While biking, I have control of my approach, performance and outcome. Facing challenging obstacles and being able to successfully beat them, builds a sense of empowerment. In the real world these feelings evolve my ability to know what I want and to act on it effectively. It further boost my leadership skills at work, in school and in everyday situations.
In addition to its positive physical and mental impacts, mountain biking has a positive environmental impact. As a mountain biker, I enjoy a pollution free environment to ride in. Mountain bicycles use no fuel, do not require toxic batteries or motor oils and take less energy to make than a car. It also increases outdoor advocacy by generating a connection to nature. Many mountain bikers, including myself, are dedicated to protecting and maintaining the natural and cultural resources of where they ride. Adopting trail designs that eliminate soil erosion, avoiding sensitive habitats and protecting wetlands, are some examples of how to minimize environmental impacts.
Mountain bike riding is my favorite sport because it is a way in which I disconnect my mind and soul from reality, and allow all of my senses to engage in the moment. Moreover, it is a sport in which I build strength, power, stability and agility. Also, through the obstacles and hurtles encountered in the exhausting yet exhilarating trails, I gain a stronger sense of authority and confidence that I implement in the challenges of the real world. Lastly, it is my favorite sport because it is pollution free and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.