About a month ago a ride at Percy Warner felt more like a job than something I do for fun. It got me to thinking about the first time I rode out there 4 years ago during the Tour de Nash. I still remember the feeling I had going up the hills for the first time. The sensation of riding and seeing a new place. I could describe certain moments with vivid detail. To this day I go out there to try and match that same feeling. It is a pointless endeavor. I don’t know when it was lost, but at some point I started to take the park for granted. The views, noises, and solitude I used to crave became an expectation. Sure I still love everything about that place, but that deep down feeling is gone. I don’t ride there unsure/excited/afraid about what is around the turn. I know when to push myself, when to back off, and what side of the road to ride to avoid potholes. It is ridiculous for me to assume that all emotions, experiences, etc will consistently bring feelings of euphoria.
I know we are probably all guilty of something like this. How often do we set aside someone, something, or someplace because we expect it to always be there. Maybe I am the only one? If I took the time I am sure I could name countless friends that at the time I would maybe wave off to hang out with. Thinking to myself, oh they will be there tomorrow. Well tomorrow left, and in many cases so did those friendships. There have been plenty of days where I just don’t want to go out because I am exhausted. My rationale is that I could always go another day.
I wanted to stop counting the seconds of my ride, and start counting the things I appreciate about it. Well maybe not “count” these things, but stop to enjoy them. Slow down on my bike to pet a dog and talk to the owner. Stop to take a picture from an area I always enjoy. Instead of passing another cyclist, adjust my pace to have a conversation if possible.
We all have that person or place that no matter what we are doing, if we see them we will turn our heads. I am sure you are thinking about someone now. That person that no matter what the craziness of life brings, time slows for.
That is why I bought a compact camera recently. It isn’t as nice as my DSLR, but it fits in my back pocket and gives me the opportunity to slow down. That one view I always ride by knowing it will be there next time, well now I stop to take a picture.
Those flowers I pass and tell myself they will be there on my next ride. Now I stop to really look at them. People and places aren’t out here for us to just walk with. They are there for us to appreciate, enjoy, and experience life with.
We are all busy and have plenty on our plates. But ask yourself, are you really too busy for that person? Are you really too exhausted to go out to enjoy that place you love?
Go out this week to enjoy that place. Reach out to that person to tell them how much they mean to you. We all know how fast time goes, so why fall into the trap of thinking there is always another day. Make today that day.