Sunday, April 5, 2009

Making The Best Out Of...

Getting ready to head out on a ride.

I've spent all winter on an indoor bicycle trainer, hammering out miles with the assistance of Troy Jacobson's Spinnerval DVDs. The result is that I'm crazy strong on a bike, but can't ride in a straight line to save my life. My bike handling skills are at best, atrocious, and at worst, dangerous.

I braved the blackening skies this afternoon to join a group ride around Bloomington. Two people showed up; a guy on a 1980s spray-painted Cannondale and wearing Ho Chi Ming slippers, and another rider who was working hard to drop a hundred pounds or so. Now I'm not a bike snob, and have been dusted by all sorts of people, but I was really struggling to find a graceful way out of this gathering. The thought of getting caught in the rain, which was definitely coming, with these two lads and being lost miles from home was not very inviting. No good, I was committed and I was going to ride.

The result was just as I predicted; rain, lost, and not a lot else. I decided to use the opportunity, instead of grumbling, to work on my weakness, bike handling. At low speeds I worked on staying in a straight line, breaking and cornering. Even though we barely broke 15 mph, I got something out of what would normally be a bad situation. I'm happy that I did it.


Long-time RN said...

Time well spent.

Sure would be nice if spring decided to make an appearance. We Midwesterners have been cooped up too long.

Ash said...

Everything has a lesson to teach. Most often folks are too busy to notice, much less learn. As we learn, so do we teach.

I'll venture the guess that you aren't really ready yet to join a long ride with a tougher and more 'professional' riders. This group gave you the slack to regain some of your rusting skills. Your two companions benefited by having you as an example to be emulated. You gave them encouragement, hope, and a bit of pride by their being able to 'keep up' with a strong, young guy... even though that must have surely been a misconception.

There is no perfect world, so we are all a bit lost, confused, wet, tired, and suffering. Where ever you go, whatever your tasks (personal or professional) you are a teacher. Actually we all are teachers, but those who practice the Dharma, Mindfullness, and living the Middle Way have a special 'mission' in helping the sentient world to understand the nature of suffering and its proper treatment.

Wherever you go, you plant seeds. Some will never germinate in dry acidic soil. Some might wither and become choked with the weeds of the pursuit of pleasure, power, wealth and fame. A few will grow into fruitful trees that will shade the parched land, break the icy winds, provide a bit of sweet juicy fruit for the hungry and a rest for the weary. We have little or no control over what the apparent outcome will be, but in the effort we cleanse ourselves, and mitigate our own suffering as well.