It started last summer. The first stirrings. Solitude keeps me at peace. Although I have a meditation practice my principal meditation – my solitude – is on a bike. Cycling has a smooth pattern, a rhythm and if I push, push, it takes my mind to a quiet place. I find it a paradox that you have all this effort and movement yet it fosters a stillness of the spirit. Running used to do this. Sculling was a joy. But the years have taken a toll – so now it is cycling.
I last took on a challenge in 2018...an event in South Carolina that did not go well. I had finished the race the year before and at some level I did not have enough respect for it. I did not train sufficiently, I was too heavy.
Add a few years. Add a few pounds. And the Mt. Washington Autoroad Race seems out of reach. I barely finished it years ago. And you do not get older and faster. But there is something about a vision which seems just out of reach that makes it the consummate challenge. You end up testing your limits. That is what I was pondering last summer. It seems just out of reach for an old, fat guy.
We are all blessed. Everyone has potential. But like the birds of the fall, has it flown away, how much remains, how much can I cultivate.