Peter, who is living with dementia, leads a healthy lifestyle and takes care of his well-being. With the help of his friend, Deb, Peter has penned his thoughts about his passion for cycling, and how keeping active is helping Peter live well with dementia.
When I cycle, I leave my dementia at home. I become who I was, not who I am.
I have always had a passion for cycling and now that I cannot work, I have more time to cycle. So, there you are - despite dementia stripping me of so many things, that’s me taking back from dementia. It’s not a one-way street after all.
How cycling helps improve my wellbeing
I’m a great believer that we should take responsibility for our own health and well-being as much as we can.
I eat a good diet, I have recently become vegetarian, and I help my wife prepare our food from scratch. The irony is that post-diagnosis, I am healthier than I was pre-diagnosis, or at least I am from the eyebrows down!
Cycling is my salvation. With every turn of the pedals, with every mile behind me, I feel stronger.
Cycling helps me regain control
When I cycle, I push my dementia away, into the shade where it stays until I get home.
Cycling is my medication; the fresh air is my anti-depressant and the sights and sounds of the countryside act as a balm to my hurt mind. (Actually, that last sentence has to go to my friend, Deb, who tells me she has plagiarised Shakespeare’s words. I suppose I have to believe her.)
But the truth is when I cycle, my spirits lift and the cloying thick cloud which was clogging my thoughts are shaken away.
When I cycle, I feel powerful, in control and strong. I get to see the countryside, and sometimes it’s like I am seeing it for the first time.
The world is a wonderful place when viewed through my cyclist’s eyes. Where there were dark and sinister shadows forming from the spectre of my dementia, there is now light and joy.
I cycle because I love to cycle and it makes me Peter Berry, the cyclist, Peter Berry, the man, not Peter Berry, living with early-onset dementia.
Keeping active and involved
Activities can help you stay independent and provide a great sense of enjoyment. They can also keep you in touch with other people and can improve your quality of life.