It’s been over 30 years since I was a serious cyclist; in other words, since my bike was my only means of transportation.
About 10 years ago, I started to miss riding and bought a fancy bike that I ride sporadically when I start to feel nostalgic. For the past two years, it’s been hanging by its wheels from the ceiling of my garage, waiting patiently for me to miss it enough to get serious and put it back on the street.
Last week the urge hit me again. For 5 days straight I took it out for a spin on the long road that I live on; every day it’s gotten easier and less painful to ride it. In the process I’ve discovered that, given half a chance, your muscles really do remember everything. If you keep on riding every day, your instincts return, too.
The biggest difference in my riding experience this time is having the distinctions of Powerful Presence. That took the experience to a whole new level.
Riding alone on Saturday morning, that connection to Powerful Presence crossed my mind in three blinding flashes of the obvious:
- You must be fully in the present moment while riding your bike or you could dump it at any time. Any distraction can cause you a serious injury.
- You have to keep your focus on your bike and your terrain. Paying more than momentary and peripheral attention to other riders can cause you serious injury. You have to trust that each rider is focusing on his or her own bike and terrain, of which you are a part. You have to resist the urge to compare yourself to anyone else or you will lose your focus.
- The more you cycle, the better you get at it. When you focus on your personal best, you become the most proficient cyclist you can be. The race is between you and yourself; it requires that you be 100% engaged in what you’re doing in every moment.
Pedaling my bike with the wind in my hair brought these three points home to me in a visceral way. Making the connection to the life lessons they contain isn’t as easy to do. As I finished my ride, I wanted to be sure to capture what I’d realized so I can remember it every day.
- My goal is to be completely present in every moment. I’m committed to the practice of being right here right now, without fear from the past or worry about the future.
- I claim the belief that I’m only responsible to be the best that I can be. There’s no one on the planet like me, so comparing myself in any way to anyone else will only cause me serious mental injury.
- I will keep my focus on being the best me I can be and trust that this is the path to my greatest proficiency and success.
Sometimes it really is just that simple.