by Michelle Brideau

It seems like every article you read or Instagram post you see, someone is doing something EPIC, talking about "epic" this and that, and I think I might have developed EPIC fatigue. The images and stories just don't have the same inspiring effect on me anymore, they make things look easy and it isn't relatable to my life.

I love to be inspired, but at the moment I'm finding myself being more inspired by the simpler things in life. Like the woman I met cycling a few weeks ago. I learned that she decided to buy a bike and start cycling again in her 50s (after a 20-year hiatus) because she wants to go on a bike tour in France this summer. As she cycled along her smile showed the joy that riding a new bike brought her. Talking with her reminded me that you can find joy in the mundane and don't have to strive to do something "epic" at all times.

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Experience happiness and delight on a regular basis

Finding meaning in everyday life can be so much more rewarding and, since you don't need to fly to the Antartic or sell all your belongnings, it's easier to experience happiness and delight on a regular basis. Wherever you are and whatever the circumstances, you can find meaning and fulfilment by doing something differently, trying something new or being more mindful when doing your favourite activity.

In my mid-twenties I went on an "epic" trip around the world, hoping I would find the answers to what to do next in my carrer and life, but I didn't. There was no big inspiration or revelation on that trip. I had a great time but I got my job offered back as soon as I arrived back home. Not quite the result I had hoped for.

Michelle Brideau long distance journey
In my 30s, after I had surgery for Crohn's Disease to remove a damaged part of my intestines, I knew I had taken my health for granted and needed to make it my top priority, especially by getting exercise into my life. However, I had just changed career by starting a new job and didn't have time to go to the gym. So I made one small change in my life: I started cycling instead of taking the train to work. I started off 3 days a week, cycling the 14km to and from work. Then spring arrived and I found myself cycling home in the sunshine, realizing I actually enjoyed cycling and looked forward to my commute. I started cycling every day. Eight months into cycling to work I bought a second bike, a road bike, and started riding on weekends. I found out I loved cycling long distance and, a few weeks later, I was planning a ride across Canada (and was already shopping for a third bike!).

I discovered a wonderful community of cyclists, a new way to travel and explore the world and I found my passion

By making one small change in my life in how I commuted, I became healthier, happier, I discovered a wonderful community of cyclists, a new way to travel and explore the world and, most importantly, I found my passion.

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For you, trying something new might be a weekend away on your own, going out for a hike or adventuring with a friend and giving wild camping a try. It could be taking the plunge and going wild swimming, or signing up for a class you've always meant to take. Whatever it is you're curious about, don't wait until tomorrow or when you think the time is right, commit to it and it will open your eyes and broaden your horizons.

Not all new experiences take you places. What you feel compelled to do
in your gut can turn into something "epic" for YOU

Start small and see where this small commitment takes you; give yourself time.
Time to see how it feels, to see yourself change, to believe more in yourself.
Not all new experiences take you places.
However, almost everything that you feel compelled to do in your gut has the potential to turn into something "epic" for YOU with the right injection of patience, good will and determination.

You can follow Michelle on IG @cycling_woman.

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