Biking is about rhythm and flow. It’s the wind in you face and the challenge of hammering up along a hill. It’s the reward at the top and the thrill of a high-speed descent. Biking lets you come alive in both body and spirit. After awhile the bike disappears beneath you and you feel as if you’re suspended in midair-
Flipping through some old photo albums while spring cleaning our spare bedroom – yes digital aged kids, photo albums! I stumbled upon a picture of myself thirteen years ago. In the background is my beloved mountain bike, a Cannondale “F” something or another, the same bike I ride while walking our beagle after dinner. Looking at the picture I recall that frustrating, exhilarating process that is learning to enjoy riding after suffering though a series of injuries. I needed a lot of help back then and still do to this very day. Sprinkle in a ton of support and patience from others to get me to this point in life – Close family and friends, caring but rigid doctors, rehab therapist, yoga teachers, open-minded “folks” who listened to my quibbles – All helped me
walk ride a path towards “whatever” I suppose.
A bright cloudless summer day in Upstate New York; my patient father watching me taking my first solo ride on my battle torn BMX bike, as I wobbled and bobbled right, then left, trying to find that savory spot of – Balance.
I was deathly afraid of falling on the asphalt hill in front of our house. So I would try riding into the grass when I started to lose my balance. It would hurt less if I fell in the lush green grass, right? Shortly after an early morning shower, I got my seven year old legs pumping away as fast as I could coming down from the top of the hill. Rain splatter streaming from the front tire onto the down tube as I picked up speed, as I neared the intersection at the bottom of the slick hill, the handle bars started to shake, and I lost control trying to make it over and through the inviting lawn to my right. I promptly keeled over and slid along the greasy asphalt for what seemed like an eternity and smacked hard into the raised curb, completely missing the grass. Crying with road rash down the left side of my body, bleeding knees and elbows … I limped to sit on the curb to gather myself.
A few days later I was pedaling my bike in varying circles at the top of this very same hill. Suddenly, a moment of unbridled bliss washed over me, I felt myself balancing, not shaking, not thinking about the newly formed scabs irritating my skin as I effortlessly pedaled. I was being, I was riding my bike without a worry in the world!
Not much has changed over the years, there will be lots of falls, bruised knees, bleeding elbows still to come. But eventually there is – Balance. It may be very small and fleeting, although it will happen.
Don’t waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear-
Shrouded in our arrogance, we often believe time is never-ending. When in fact, the end of time, or at least this time, this moment as we are experiencing it … Is the one thing in our lives of which we can be absolutely certain of. If I may ask you this morning, why then, do we insist on spending these precious moments consumed with how many followers we have on WordPress, or perusing the trending topics on Reddit, rather than being fully engaged in this amazing moment in our lives?
This morning I woke up earlier than I normally do. I found myself paying more attention to “something” else. Rather than being fully engaged in the fleeting moments lying before me … Moments that, for their own reasons, are even more precious than most … I had my face buried in the screen on my iThingy, lighting up a still dark room. A none too subtle reflection of my enamored face switching between the weather app and the fantasy baseball app, reminded me of unwavering attention to my virtual world, and my increasingly wavering attention to my true self. This moment prompted me to pause, set down my gadget, thinking about just how much distraction we volunteer for in our daily lives, and how much these distractions impact what we have come to consider meaningful in our lives (my fantasy team stinks this season).
Figuring out and deciding what to fill each moment during the day with, is truly, the most challenge part living a life, in the moment.