Friday, November 4, 2011
Cycling Is Elemental
There are a few things that have been floating around in my head lately. Among the many things is, at least in part. Is the different compartments of what I like about biking.
I think physical exercise as well as competition can bring us all back to something that we have lost as humans (At least for those of us lucky enough to have been born in a first world country.). Something truly elemental in nature. Not just survival of the fittest. Although I think that has something to do with it too. But it teaches us to focus on just a few specific things. And in a world filled with interwebs, boob tube, cellphone/toasters, and all other manner of distractions. Those moments where all you are concerned about is what's right in front of you. And how your body and mind can be on the knifes edge of that. THAT is a lot of what makes cycling so great to me.
When I get on my bike I'm no longer worrying about work, family, friend's or even whats going to happen later that day.
It's my breathing, my muscles, my brain and my machine. Acting in force with one another to move all towards a common goal.
Weather that's a group ride or the finish line of a race or even getting to work on time. It doesn't matter. It's all those things and none of them.
Although I think a lot of other endurance sports have it as well, suffering, is a common attribute. I don't know why suffering has such a bad rap. It can teach us all so much. Not only what we can and can't do ( At least not yet.). But it also gives us confidence in ourselves and our ability to make it through something.
Maybe your terrible at hills. A hill may be really steep and long. And you may not be able to get over it with the fastest people (Or maybe you can. It doesn't really matter either way.) but if you put your mind in the proper place. You WILL get over it. Even if it means pushing your bike. You can get over it.
And in doing so confidence is made. The understanding that regardless of how bad it gets. With the right preparation and attitude we can get through anything that life throws our way. What a wonderful lesson to learn!
I think that is one of the most important tools that any of us can have in life. The understanding and faith that we can make it through whatever is in front of us. It's invaluable knowledge.
I've often said before what my main goals for racing are.
1. Always finish if I'm physically able.
2. Don't wreck.
3. Finish in as high a placing as I can.
It's so easy to quit. But why?
What can we learn from quiting? Other than what it feels like to quit. I don't really see any other benefit.
But staying in the game/race/ride. That's where all the experience comes from. Otherwise why would we be out there.
I want to see what happens next! I want to have that memory locked in my head until some other peace of knowledge (useful, hopefully) pushes it out.
These are basic life skills. But they are also things that aren't as readily accessible in today's society. And just like many other life skills I think that we should remind ourselves of them frequently. Because you never know when they will be called upon. And some of us, like me. Need way more practice than others.
Thanks for reading.
Rubber side down,
Posted by Big E at 6:29 PM