Yep. I would add my cats and books, but essentially this is it for me, especially lately. Not even the beer that much anymore, and I’d say I’m down to 2 people…but the riding…
Bicycles. Bike stuff.
It’s what makes me happy. Always. Starting as a little kid on a sparkly green Schwinn Stingray, through the years and many bikes, cycling has literally kept me moving through life. Doesn’t matter what’s going on in my life or my head, if I can get out on my bike, hear the wind in my ears, feel the burn in my legs, and the sun on my face, I’m good.
This has been a fairly crappy week at work, but I’ve come in early and left early the past two days so I can get a ride in after work before dinner, and that has made all the difference. It doesn’t change what’s going on at work, or with my mother, but it changes me – my head – and that’s what matters.
I’ve been following the Tour de France online in the mornings at my desk, and listening to Lance Armstrong’s podcasts in the afternoons. On my breaks I look at bikes and bike kits online, dreaming about something new and shiny. At 4:30 I go home and get changed, fill a water bottle, strap on my helmet, climb on my pretty purple bike and go.
That moment when I roll out of the driveway and turn onto the street is golden. Whatever is bugging me floats away and for at least an hour I don’t have to think about anything but keeping my legs moving, my eyes on the road, and how fast and how far I want to go. When I come back I stretch for a while, change out of my sweaty kit and into something comfortable for the evening, and I feel like a different person.
I can breathe. The endorphins are coursing through my brain, telling me that everything’s okay, life is beautiful, and it is.
When I’m riding I’m totally in the moment, totally in my body, not worried about the future or the past. There is just the moment and the road and my legs and turning the pedals. I think about things, but it all seems so far away, and my attention turns quickly to the trees, the water, and the rabbits, deer, geese and ducks I see all along the way.
What’s here now.
That’s all that matters. That’s true all the time, but it’s easier for me to remember when I’m on my bike. It’s fun and it’s only me doing what I want – what I love – like when I was a little girl flying down the sidewalk on that Stingray.
So, yeah, riding, cats, books, friends, and beer. Simple really. Why does it seem so hard sometimes, so impossible? Life is hard and I get all caught up in what I don’t have and all the crap that drives me nuts. As long as I have those 5 things, though, it’s mostly okay.
Especially that one thing.