Monday, September 9, 2013

Seeking Balance

-Thomas Merton

photo by Greg Ferguson

I sit here, in my Madison home, legs up, iced coffee in hand...resting.  Yes, you heard that right.  No biking, no yard work, no cooking, just resting.  My legs are so cooked you could call them "well done" and I am kind enough to listen to their plea of non movement--at least for the rest of today.

This week, I finally calculated my average miles for the year (so far) and realised I have put on more miles this year than any prior.  Even when I raced I didn't touch what I've done this year.  It feels good.  Not in the "I'm so tough" way, but to look back at all the amazing places I've ridden, all the lovely people I've met and all the free therapy my bike has given me, I feel pretty damn satisfied.

After finishing three great rides, with three different groups this weekend, I began to think how lucky I am to have such a diverse circle of friends who I'm able to share my passion with.  I've come to the conclusion that finding balance has so many layers.  First, I have to force myself to be creative in my mind, not just in my body.  Taking time to write, read, go to lectures and chat with friends about world issues tends to keep me grounded and not turn into an obsessive/compulsive cyclist--or at least not as much of one.  The next layer or step, however, took me a bit longer to figure out.  Since I was a kid riding with my junior group, I've always stuck to one cycling group at a time.  Call it solidarity, call it laziness, call it comfort, but I rarely rode with more than one group--until this year.

Over the past three days, I have found so much joy riding with different people I wondered why the hell hadn't I started doing this before?  Each group gave me something completely different.  Friday was a girls ride with two strong, caring, beautiful friends.  Saturday was a birthday celebration with a mix of friends, acquaintances and folks I knew of but never rode with before.  Sunday brought part of my regular riding crew together for a much needed "check in" and social ride.  All three brought me something none of the others could do.  Of course I've always seen friends like this, each one filling a specific spot in my life and vice versa, no one friend can be everything,  but rarely did I view cycling like this.

As I continue to grow as a person and a cyclist, I thoroughly look forward to branching out in my skills and friendships.  Thanks to all of these wonderful people, I am a much more balanced person!

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