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.
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.
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.
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.