Zen On Dirt

Placing meaning

1 Comment

I did a fair bit of riding last week.

This was for two reasons, 1) I got a new Salsa Spearfish and it’s pretty sinful to have a new bike sitting on the corner without riding it, and 2) I did stupid with running earlier in the week and was nursing hurty feet, so running was out of the question for a little bit (Hey, I’m a slow learner when it comes to moderation, leave me alone).


Unfortunately, there’s no easy riding around here. What I wouldn’t give for some smooth, flowy, swoopy, low-stress trail…but I live in Tucson, and no, I’m not going to drive to Fantasy Island.

I found myself bobbling all sorts of rocks that I could ride last spring when we left. I found myself avoiding certain loops because I knew there was THE move, that I knew I could ride in the past, but didn’t really have a whole lot of confidence in now, even with a new bike.

I often ended my rides feeling a little like this.


When we came to Tucson last fall, I was gung-ho about trying to ride everything. I’d go back and try a move over and over and over until I got it, and I’d say that I got to the point of advanced-beginner, at least compared to how the rest of Tucson rides, or at least the rest of Scott’s friends who live in Tucson who I’d ridden with.

But now, I’d look at a move, fumble it, and say, ‘Meh’, and move on with life and try to not let it get to me. It was a little bruising on the ego.


It got me thinking about placing value on things. Things in this world are only important because we, as individuals, place value on them. Expensive jewelry, clothing, or wine, means nothing to me (But 2-buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s…now there’s a great value wine! Just kidding, sort of.), while the vast majority of the population would beg to disagree. Being able to get on dirt within a quarter mile of my house makes all the difference in the world to me, while someone in the middle of New York City probably doesn’t give a damn. Some people put value on their toys and stable homes, I put value on being able to move all of my belonging into a shed within 3 hours and be free to travel.


Some people place value on being able to ride tech well. Some people just want to be able to pedal all day. Others just want to survive a 15 mile ride. I personally just want to be able to survive a 15 mile run right now.

Values shift. We all know that. And it’s a theme that’s coming up over and over in my life as of late. And it’s hard. How do we take something that we placed as a top priority for the past 10 years and say, ‘I still love you, and I still value you, but you’re going to have to sit in the corner temporarily because I have other things to do.’


And then there’s the subsequent issue: What do I want to place value on now?

When there’s a whole world of possibilities to choose from…and in all honesty, more things I want to do and places I want to see than I know I can fit into a lifetime, how do you choose?


But here’s the cool part. My guess is that whatever my next obsession ends up being, it’ll probably involve riding bikes, being in the mountains, and spending time with amazing people. And how can you go wrong with that?


One thought on “Placing meaning

  1. let go of the rock Eszter


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