It would be easy to blame my annual Michibata obsession on her incredible legs or toned tummy, but in truth it is something deeper than that. Just like a Friday afternoon is more satisfying than the actual weekend you’re about to embark on (due mostly to the wealth of imagined possibilities), I can imagine my summer to come full of warm hazy days, enjoying picnics in the park, wearing my favourite sunglasses for a walk by the river. The fact that Aberdeen will be enveloped by fog for most of July is neither here nor there. Right now my summer to come is a wealth of opportunity.
This leads me to Miss Michibata’s seemingly eternal sunny disposition. While I am fully aware that her Twitter feed of trips to Hawii and time spent with my mate Jenson is the very definition of someone’s show reel edited to perfection, I find her exploits inspiring rather than jealousy inducing. Photos of her on her road bike have encouraged me to find out what is wrong with my own road bike, fix it and then get back on it. Many many happy days have been spent entirely alone on my road bike, and seeing her smiling out from her Instagram feed has reminded me how much I miss it.
Another thing that #ProjectMichibata and this weekend walking with my dad has reminded me is that I like to feel fit. Whilst my broken knee previously rendered me incapable of limping any further than a circuit of Asda, now I can walk for miles and could even risk a jog (another of my loves long since lost). Prior to my accident I was running 6 miles twice a week. The devastation I experienced at realising this loss to my lifestyle was stoically suppressed for fear of the grief spilling out.
I am eternally thankful to whatever has enabled me to lose almost a stone in weight whilst being a partial cripple, resigned to long periods of inactivity due to aching, pain or just simply fear of both. This means that rather than using exercise purely to lose weight as I did before, a futile exercise forever tinged with sadness and frustration, I can just get out and cycle purely because I love it. I quite simply adore the low rumble of my wheels as I free-wheel down a hill. I love the pulsing whirr of pushing hard on the pedals on a long climb. The rhythmic breathing, the sun in my face, feeling warm regardless of temperature.
I thank Miss Michibata for all that because she seems to be having so much fun and she reminds me that I have access to so much joy in my own life and all the things I used to love are still very much within my grasp.
After all, the simplest way to look fabulous for less is to always wear a smile.