i know i used to gush on and on forever about how much i love cross country skiing, and believe me, that has not changed. but my new love was, i think, born out of a desire for something else to do, something to get me through the other nine months of the year, when i couldn't ski. i've lived in amazing mountain biking country for years. but until just a few years ago, i had never attempted the sport. i just had no desire; i preferred just simply hiking and/or walking through the wilderness, no need to go so fast. but then glenn's insurance company had this great incentive that gave each individual $1000 towards anything fitness-related. (the plan is no longer in place and i am no longer covered under glenn's insurance, but i digress.) i decided to buy a bike and try it out. i can now say that, as my third season of mountain biking is nearing its end, i am 100% in love.
i went for a ride this evening and it was so perfect. just what i needed to clear my head, to uncloud my mind, ease my tensions, and work my body.
such beautiful country! this ride that i did tonight used to present a real challenge to me. there were certain areas that i could not maneuver without getting off my bike. that is no longer the case. now it is just fun- pure joy from start to finish. there's a place near the end where i am giddy with excitement as it approaches and i often find myself laughing, like a kid on a dirt bike, as i ride through it.
biking has become for me this wonderful balancing practice. it is just the right blend of climb and coast, of pedal and brake, of thought and flow, of build and release. it does wonders for my mind, body, and soul.
and olive lives and breathes by whether or not i put my helmet in the car when we leave the house.
on this particular trail that i rode tonight, it is not uncommon to ride right over ancient pottery shards such as this one.
biking for me is a magnificent way to feel alive at this point in my life. there is a real, true, jubilant rush of life that accompanies a fast descent followed by a quick ascent. my heart pounds as if it may burst on certain climbs and the thrill of reaching the top is sincere. a near-crash brings a true fear, followed by genuine relief, and authentic physical pain results when a near-crash becomes a real crash. how many other activities can bring that range of feeling in so short a time?
i think i am just feeling super grateful tonight for this amazing new love of mine and wanted to share. soon all of my trails will be covered with snow, waiting to be skied. but for now, i will ride them for as long as i can.