Anatomy of a Bike Ride

Recently I was riding my bike before work—a morning far too beautiful to spend in the gym. Suddenly, I realized I was aware of only my music, my heartbeat, and my hard but steady breathing. It was as if I was riding with blinders on, totally unaware of the landscape, houses, or traffic on either side of me. I was literally going through the motions, just trying to complete my ride.

I was riding like a machine, but this workout was only accomplishing the caloric burn-off goal. No joy. Stress, supposedly released through the pedals. But shoulders to my ears said otherwise.

Breathe out. Phewwww. I slowed up slightly, came back to the reality of what I was doing, then continued moving forward.

I thought about how our weekend rides with friends are much more relaxing, longer, and fun. We ride but can talk, laugh, stop for a few photos. Yes, this ride was shorter in distance, time, and purpose…. but it should be enjoyed too.

Becoming AWARE of my thoughts, my ride, my motions, my morning, my job, my conversations, my night, it makes them all much more real. So busy, it is easy to forget to live the minutes, the details. Sometimes it takes a moment like on my bike to remember that.

Some times we all want to pass fast. Now, without thinking. But when we continually move too quickly we can miss the subtle moments, the quiet ones, some critical ones. We become sloppy, often unaware of the larger picture, thinking only of the task or situation right in front of us.

We should remember that it’s the single moments that make up our life, not just the motions. The Blur.

The journey continues.

C

Slow Season

Everyone is running and the stores are crammed (didn’t look like a recession driving around yesterday!), people prepping for Thanksgiving and then Christmas craziness.  But our house right now feels calm, whole, and waiting patiently for the tree, the stockings, outdoor lights until after the big Turkey day.  I feel like I can breathe again, slowing down now that football is over, and the soccer schedule has eased up dramatically.  My daughter said our home feels “warm and cozy” this weekend, but she doesn’t know why.  Maybe there is no hecticness in the air.  (yea, I know that is not a word, but it fits)

I love that our family feels like a unit as we begin this holiday season. We can eat together, play games, do a puzzle, help with each other’s schoolwork (mine included), and we seem to have those extra 30 minutes to do waiting projects like hang pictures on the walls, go through drawers, put away the garden equipment or simply watch a film.   

Come December I will probably read this and laugh, rushing to buy a last minute gift or send out three forgotten cards, but I will savor this togetherness and slowing-down time and socializing while I can. C

Sayanora Summer

While there may technically be 25 days left in summer, for millions of American families the summer is technically, officially Over.  School starts today.  For us and many of my friends, it feels like summer really ends in early August, when schedules begin again, and we start prepping for school. 

Football practice–5 days a week for 8 year olds?– cut into any evening events, soccer camp, buying school supplies (including 3 packs of baby wipes and 22 boxes of Kleenex for the teachers), haircuts, shiny new shoes, Back to School Day, dental appointments or physicals, and even buying books for myself as I begin my first college class in 20 years all cut into the languid days of summer. 

I relish our free Sundays, which don’t fill up until this weekend with soccer and football games, fall ball and tennis for other friends, knowing that they end now.  We have made a conscious effort to enjoy our free time–swimming, biking, boating, and spending with friends–knowing that the Busy days start now.  Relax, while time is again speeding up, too soon, as the glorious days of summer beckon us from outside our windows. C