Seven :Light: YearsPosted: July 28, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: blogging, Cometing, compassion, crossfit, cycling, exercise, family, fitness, free range, gluten free, gratitude, Gravel Grinding, happiness, health, hipster, kindness, love, lululemon, lust, marathon, meditation, motivation, musings, natural, nature, nebraska, Omaha, paleo, passion, perspective, pilates, running, writing, yoga 9 Comments
One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful-
I had lived life as if, by necessity, my weekends had to be filled with competitions and competitive activities of one flavor or another, which had to be strenuous and intense so that I could feel productive, like I had actually accomplished more than picking up some schwag at the sign in table. My weekends, and the time spent during the week “training” ruled me! All of this magically disappeared over the prior four years due to injury and focusing more on my true self. You know what the most exciting part of not training and competing is? I couldn’t believe how much mental space was suddenly available to me. It was truly was invigorating, even more so than a grueling predawn training ride!
It was less than two years, before I fully understood that the absence of competing, was not enough to make me feel whole.
What does my life mean now?
In the last couple of years, I made a distinction between competition and play. The difference now is that I have control over competing. I can make calculated and measured choices based on what I believe is meaningful; what I believe is the best use of my talents; and what gives me a sense of value or purpose. Surrendering to this mindset has allowed me to shape the meaning of my life in cool and exciting ways.
Spending more time playing rather than competing, is simply wonderful beyond words. My thoughts are filled with happiness instead of split times and personal records, which is a gift. I’m left to explore what it means to be human or whatever … I wrestle with questions that competing left little time to be asked. Play is a source of beauty—a simple walk, an illuminating trail up ahead, a tight switchback to a challenging climb, gasping for another breath. Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? Will the Avalanche be good this year? Are 26in MTB’s still “cool”?
The many important questions to be asked …
Lovely photos. Glad you have been able to shift your focus from the competition to play and just being.
I’ve never been a competitive person, other than striving within myself to do my best. I grew up athletic and always climbing but I also was quite ill with asthma much of my life, so pushing myself hardcore physically was sometimes just being able to hike.
I know I will be fully well at some point and wonder what will occupy my mind then, beyond the striving to be well 🙂
Ah…space….wonder…options…isn’t it wonderful!!!
It truly is wonderful!
26″ mountain bikes look like kids dirt bikes next to 29’ers (I have one of each). Funny, my old 3700 is only six years old but it looks like it’s going in fifteen next to the next-gen fat tires and disc brakes. Still rides like a dream though (even if it is a lot rougher). I keep it for my wife’s friends and the nephews when they come up to visit.
I think old road bikes enjoy greater status. Great post brother.
How long do you feel it will be before 26″ tires/wheels/bikes come back into their own? Going on the phrase- What was once old, is now new again? This is especially so in regards to cycling. Take internal cable routing as an example 😉
Take care mate and be well!
There are some problems with internal routing, at least from what I’ve heard from others – my bike’s internal routing is so well done, I’d NEVER go back to external. Not if you paid me for the added maintenance time.
If the 26″ tires do come back, which would be a surprise, it’ll be because the trails adapt to the 29’er wheel base… The reason 29’ers shot up in popularity so fast was because of the wider wheel base – it smoothed out trails that were rough on a 26… It’s up in the air, but my 29’er rides like a Cadillac. I love it.
I learned to play after some physical issues as well. The pause is where we learn. I loved reading your story of freedom.
I’m glad to share my journey with you, the highs and undoubtedly the lows as well. It’s what makes life interesting after all. 🙂
Love the picture of the trail!
Who would know that this trail is right here, in our fair city – Omaha, NE 🙂