I had an epic ride today. And I want to share it with everyone.
Most people think their ride starts when they get on the saddle and start pedaling. Mine started several days before. Let me explain.
You see, I have started using a calendar to map out my week. When I expect to be at work, when I am going to write for myself, when I am going to write for you. And when I make time to ride.
So I was expecting (with the same anticipation I had when I was 12 and I was going skiing for the weekend – limitless excitement!) to go on a group ride on Saturday. My weekend plans changed. And that was okay.
I got the kids up early, got them to their Sunday morning activity, and started to think about where I would ride. I drank some coffee and came home to gather my gear. Filled the water bottles and filled the tires with air.
Like so many of us, I had a lot on my mind. As I pedaled along the foothills, I thought about work, I thought about my kids, and I thought about my personal life. Most of all I thought about all of the people I try and help every day.
I got to my favorite part of the ride. I became really present with the moment. Saw the foothills ahead of me, looked back at the mountains behind me. So much beauty.
Got wrapped up in another thought and started to get angry. Saw a bunch of cyclists stopped on the shoulder. Made it difficult to get passed them. I’m sure I had that angry face that you don’t even realize you are making.
I started to feel a strong crosswind as I made a turn South. Am I going to make it 40 miles?
I got present with the moment again. Cool breeze on my jersey. My legs felt fresh. No saddle soreness. Food was gone but I was well hydrated. I felt really good. Felt really good for being out for almost two hours. Felt really good in that moment.
I started cooling down several miles from home. Usually I push really hard towards the end. The final stretch is almost always an all out time trial effort.
But this time I thought about my breathing. I paid attention to my heart rate. Took another look at the mountains in the distance.
I pressed stop on the Garmin. After each ride, my app asks, “How was your ride?”
I felt amazing. My body felt refreshed. My mind was at ease, ready to accept the challenges of the rest of the day. Brought clarity to my spirit.
All I want is for everyone to share that same feeling. To know what you do has a positive effect on your body mind and spirit. You do make a difference. You have the power to make an impact in someone’s life. I want everyone to have that feeling. I want everyone to know that peace.
Now, the cyclists on the side of the road were not in anyone’s way. I should have felt camaraderie for them, not annoyance.
The weather is a fact of life. Having a feeling about it is useless. The weather has no need or feeling for me. It is merely one of life’s many challenges. Nothing more.
While my kids were at their morning activity, one young girl remarked that she hates circles. She may indeed hate circles, or maybe she just likes to say something controversial just to get attention. Either way, the manner in which you look at the world forms your every action and consequence.
If you believe you can be the change, then you will realize the possibilities in your life. Cycling helps me actualize the possibilities in my life. And for that, I am grateful. Not just for more epic rides, but for this moment. Nothing more.