Zen On Dirt

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White Light

It’s been no secret that since coming off the Divide, I’ve struggled with the act of bike riding.  The brain says ‘Go fast!  Go zoom!’, the body says ‘Hells no!’. The body says, ‘Hey, let’s put on an absurd amount of weight to make sure uphill is miserable.  Let’s keep the overall adrenaline level low so that pushing it on the downhill is sub-appealing. In addition, let’s get sick, have low iron levels, and introduce random aches and pains and habits, like teeth grinding.  Let’s suck for a little bit.’

But then something turned on riding yesterday.  After cratering spectacularly on the first of what was to be two long rides last weekend, I was told to recover and throw in a long ride this week when I was ‘crawling out of my skin to ride.’  Thursday night, after a week of dormancy, my cells started to vibrate to the frequency of ‘RIDE!’  And so, armed with a general route where I wanted to pass through the Ned Co-Op, end up at the top of Sugarloaf at some point of time, and ride some trails if possible, I set up aiming to time the warmest part of the day with the highest altitude.

I pedaled through the White Light of bliss from the moment I clipped into my highly unsafe, to-be-used-on-the-road only pedals to when I got home, giddy.  Glowing.  Almost ready to forgive that the brothers had eaten all the Thanksgiving leftovers.  Where the white light came from?  I don’t know.  It amazes me even more just thinking back to five days ago when the gas tank registered Empty, reserve tank, also empty.  To be able to fly (relatively) up hill after hill, to be able to embrace the beauty that I was pedaling through, to buy a muffin and take it up to one of my favorite places in Boulder County.  Magic.

And at the end of nearly seven hours, to climb Poor Mans like it wasn’t a hill that I test my most pathetic fitness levels on and then to cruise up 4th street like it wasn’t actually uphill, was nothing short of blowing my mind.

There was no pain.  There was no suffering.  There was merely peace.  White light.  Zen.  Thank you Universe.


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The proverbial ‘they’ say that it takes 40 days to create a habit.  It takes me exactly one day to break a good habit, like flossing, and many days to break bad ones, like heading straight to the peanut butter jar in times of desperation.

But if the past two months have taught me anything, it’s that there are certain habits that I don’t want to break because once gone, it takes far too much work to get them back.  In this case, remembering how to do high school math.  Practice makes perfect.  If you don’t use it, you lose it.  I don’t want to lose writing.  I don’t want to lose the ability to go back through pictures and remember good times, silly times, bad times, pretty times, and magical times.


So here we go again.  Back on the horse.  Back in to the bloggie world.  Time to get the good times rolling.

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Guilt of Happiness

I’m supposed to be devastated right now.  I should be wallowing in misery, drinking excessively, wondering how my life had come to this.  How my life as I knew it came tumbling down in the space of three weeks from the moment we first had the discussion: Are we going to try to fix this or go our separate ways?


That was nearly six weeks ago.

A lot of tears have flowed since then.  Every time I thought I’d hit rock bottom, I’d sink lower.  Much peanut butter and ice cream was sacrificed.  I treated myself badly.  Far too many mornings were greeted with, ‘Not another day, I can’t deal with it.  Can I just sleep some more?  Just a few more hours of unconsciousness.’


Last night, I couldn’t sleep.  Buzzing with excitement.  Constructing a flow chart for life.  There were no dead-ends, just infinite possibilities.  I was literally wiggling out of my skin.

I feel guilty over this.  I’m not following the rules. Regardless, I am ecstatic because of it.