I apply what I learn while cycling to everyday life, even if it’s just on the unconscious level. So far my greatest accomplishments have been riding really far. The one biggie that comes to mind is the Dirty Kanza 200. Finishing that race was huge! An impactful thing I learned from completing big rides like that is this:
To finish any journey you must keep pedaling.
It’s both simple and vital. And so it is with my life right now. But my professional life is more like the Dirty infinity. It keeps going and going. Many days I have to lean on my cycling experience and simply keep “pedaling.” There are days, like a few of the miles of the DK200, when I just want to give up. It would be so much easier to stop. But with each pedal stroke I get closer to the finish line. And quite frankly the more pain that is felt, the more amazing the finish line is when you get there.
The issue is, I am not looking for a finish line in life. I am looking for a more fulfilling path. This road has become monotonous, tedious and is lacking any meaning. Ever been there cyclists? “Why am I doing this?” I have felt that on many training rides and definitely through the pain of the DK200. In the end everything has meaning when we quiet our mind and really see.
The difference with the DK200 and life is many, but one difference in particular is that I was able to count down the miles to the finish line at the DK200. At some point it would be over. In life I have no countdown and that thought logic is flawed anyway. The journey itself is the reward, on and off the bike. Who reads a story about crossing the finish line? It is the journey that captivates us.
Now I am on to something new. I have a beautiful new fatbike. It can go anywhere. I am no longer relegated to a long, never-ending gravel road. I’m going off-road. I am going to make a new trail. I am going to have new experiences. I am going to ride singletrack. New skills are emerging. Riding technical singletrack engages the brain at every moment. You must negotiate the terrain and make constant adjustments. Enough of this and one gets very skilled at riding through anything. This can be seen by watching someone like Matt Gersib, Matt Brown or Rebecca Rusch among others. How do we know that they are skilled mountain bikers? Because they can negotiate the terrain very quickly and they are fast. I am half the way through the route and they are enjoying a cold beverage already.
I have been treating my professional life like a Dirty 1,000,000 or something. Just keep pedaling. It’s time to look for that different path. It’s time to go ninja and ride off this course. Only in my ego do I need to stay on this “safe” road. My new fat tires say new things are possible. My new bike gives me confidence to find a new path. The confidence I have gained by doing big rides like the DK200 keep me going, knowing that I will get better, faster and stronger.
And I must say, everything happens for a reason. This season is not wasted. There is no waste with the universe. Everything, even the bad experiences are used for good. The bible says this, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” That means so much more when you realize that God is more than a man in the sky or a figure in a church. God himself, the power of the universe, is inside you. Replace the word God with the word Love and more meaning drips from the bible reference. You are more than your thoughts. You can’t love God without loving yourself. It all comes back to love. In Love lies the power to change the very universe itself, the situation you find yourself in, by loving.
Maybe it’s just the coffee talking, but I am ready. Ready to kick ass.
Enjoy the weekend, ride your bike and think about how you will succeed in 2013.
Feed Your Monkey!