Day two?! Did I miss day one? Where’s day one?
If you follow this blog (does anyone follow this blog?) you know that I did not write about day one with my Giant. That’s because yesterday was day one, but I didn’t think about writing on this topic until today, which happens to be day two. So, if you’re super particular, and don’t like that I started with day two… sorry about that.
Here’s the thing. In one of my last posts, I mentioned that I wanted to start learning about and practicing, in some way or another, some form of Buddhism. I still do, I promise. But since my last post, my Dad had a major heart surgery and didn’t make it through, so as you can probably imagine, it’s been a pretty hectic, sad, crazy, beautiful couple of months. I have so much that I’ve learned in that time, and I want to write about all of it because I think there’s so much that can be learned from my family’s situation, but I’m not quite ready to do that.
So, I’m starting with my Giant. If you’re wondering, my Giant is not some one-eyed, golden-egg-stealing, grind your bones to make his bread, taller than humanly possible man. My Giant is my bicycle — literally, that is the brand of bicycle I own — and if I haven’t mentioned it before, cycling is probably my favorite thing on earth to do. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to do it as much the last few years, but I have an ambitious goal of biking a century (100 miles in one day) at the end of the summer, so I figured I better get moving.
Yesterday was the first nice day here for biking (well, by my standards anyway). So I got my bike out and I jumped on and immediately remembered why I have to ease back into it. If you don’t bike, you wouldn’t know this, but it is pretty painful to bike if you’re not used to it. Namely, your rear-end gets awfully sore if you decide to ride 20 miles your first time out in 2 years. I have made this mistake — it is something I hope I never do again.
So yesterday, I decided I better take it easy, and I did a little less than 4 miles. That is pretty much nothing for me, but it was perfect because today I was able to get back on for the second time, and I didn’t feel like I had a bruise that went through my bones to the internal organs. So today I did a little under 9 miles, and I actually made it out of town, at which time I was reminded exactly why biking is my absolute favorite thing in the world to do. In fact, while I was riding I was thinking of all the possible titles for this post, and I came up with several:
- Reason 356 Why I Love Wisconsin
- Reason 849 Why I Love Bicycling
- Farms: They Sure Stink in the Spring (Side note: this is reason 241 why I love Wisconsin. Another post, perhaps)
- “Makes Me Want to Take, Makes Me Want to Take a Backroad” ~ Courtesy of Rodney Atkins
- Train Tracks: Ouch
In all seriousness though, biking is my meditation. I have not had time to think about getting to a Buddhist center here yet, but is on my list of things to do (I think that’s probably bad that something like that is on my “list”). However, while I was riding today, I realized that meditating is about as close as I can come to answering the question I was once asked after a century ride: “What do you think about for 8 hours on a bike?”
Biking, for me, is my time to clear my head. While I’m not technically meditating, at least by any formal definition or description of the term, it’s my time to just be. I can ride for just a couple minutes and I’m further away from home than I could get while walking. I can take one of numerous paths, and could see something different every single day. And unlike driving in a motor vehicle, I am moving fast enough to be able to make good distance while still slow enough to actually enjoy the world around me.
Riding is my freedom, my chance to be closer to nature, to reflect on my life (past, present, and future), and to help my body and soul feel better. I believe most people have something that does these things for them — some passion, something they enjoy doing more than anything else. I also believe that often, we get so caught up in work, kids, marriage, friendships, interpersonal drama, politics, religion — whatever — that we forget to stop and do the things that make us happiest. I know I do.
So, what is it for you? What is your “meditation”?