Sunday, July 24, 2022

LIFE LESSONS on the road.




So, I got up early today to get on my bike and get on the trail and OUT/past people because I know the trail can get busy early weekend mornings and well… I don’t like to be slowed down too much on my bike😊  Plus, it was supposed to be super hot, so I thought I could get more intensity in before the heat started pushing down on me too much.

So, I get less than 5 miles out on the W and OD and I see a cyclist up in front of me, he’s sitting up in the saddle and it appears that he is maybe typing something on his phone.  And I notice in front of him is an older couple taking a walk on the trail.  I’m watching thinking SURELY THIS DUDE WILL LOOK UP???!!  And he is getting closer and closer and I’m like he’s gonna hit them, so I yell out “HEADS UP”!!!  He swerves, misses them, and carries on sitting upright maybe still typing.

I go to pass him, and call out “on your left”.  He stays flat out on the center line, and even slightly LEFT of it. (no one is at all on the right side of him, but I’m not going to pass on the wrong side because that is when things get dangerous).

So, I call out again, and I yell it, there is no mistaking that my voice is audible to him.  He doesn’t move.

A third time I call out and just go ahead and pass him, and mention as I pass him that he almost hit two people back there.

Well, so then we get to an intersection and he says something to me that I couldn’t hear.  We are waiting and so I question him, I asked him to repeat it.  Apparently he didn’t hear what I had said to him as I passed, and since he is acting all asshole-y to me, I let him know that he almost ran into two people while he was not looking up, and that THEN, he could have moved over when I yelled out THREE TIMES on your left.  Then, we are at the intersection and I’m pissed but I do NOT feel completely safe with him being BEHIND me… so as the light turns, I finish with, “Now I’m going to let you go ahead”….

(It didn’t actually end there, but that was the big part of it and so I’m like 15 minutes into my ride, which was a BEAUTIFUL MORNING and I’m like irritated, (also a little scared because then he pulled over, said some nasty things as I passed him and now I don’t want him to be behind me as I get out into less populated areas.)  But I find myself RUMINATING over this scene.  Ruminating.  Wondering if I was wrong to address it, and also just flat out pissed that some people are like this and don’t think of others.  And I’m getting pissed at myself because of these bad feelings inside.  Feelings of annoyance and negativity, but also, I realize that I’m like not letting it go.  (letting it go…. Something I work on….. ewwwwww it is not my strong suit to let things go).

Anyway, so that is when it hit me:  THIS IS MY LESSON today.

I firmly believe that we can gain so much from the life lessons that training, racing, being awake and aware in life offer.  When I did a full IRONMAN, when I do marathons, when I do shorter/faster races—there are ALWAYS LESSONS.  Lessons I didn’t even know I needed.  Lessons on race day, but lessons DURING THE TRAINING.  Lessons on waking up and getting my butt out there when I do NOT feel like I want to, lessons on realizing I am maybe scared of something in my training, realizations where I am able to connect that my tendency in life is maybe something I find along the way in my training or racing.  Lessons on being in the moment.  And on and on.

Well, so this was my lesson today, something that I am always working on anyway---- it is so easy to overfocus on the negative.  These negative things just STAND OUT to us, at least me😊  There can sometimes be like 4 great things that happen, and then the 1 negative and I just all of a sudden don’t even CONSIDER the good things!  I’m all into the ruminating of the negative, making that stand out, making that be my story. Ugh.

So, while I biked for a little (I was going moderate intensity so not needing to fully push and focus here!), I reminded myself of already like 5 good things that had happened in my ride- I had seen someone I know and it was so great to see him out running strong and smiling so early in the morning, I had passed a few people who- with just little connections had smiled and shared a look of acknowledgement ,etc.  I had passed a bunny hopping along the side of the trail.  All of these things that had already made me smile!  So, I tried to give those the recognition and attention where I wanted to be spending my time- on the positive.

It is not as if I believe or expect every training session, every day, to provide some miraculous life changing realization.  But, I do believe that there is so much we can be awake to in our movement, in our journey and paths.  While teaching a yoga practice last week, I was reminding us to not just be in a position with our bodies, but our minds, our attitudes, our open awareness to what we needed from that position, what our bodies felt in that position.  (As an aside- this is really the BEST THING to ask a kids yoga class, I have found—we will do a position and I ask what does this feel like in your body?  And they have the best answers- they say they feel “free” “playful” “happy” in various positions- isn’t this so cool???!)

So, as we begin a week, I thought I’d share this and maybe we can even set as an intention to try to see 4-5 positive and great things for every 1 negative experience that we might have a tendency to ruminate or focus on…. (and maybe we can not be on our phones while riding our bikes, ahem….)