Deflated to Elated

// June 18th, 2012 // Advice, Cycling

The other day I was riding my bike up a rugged, steep, loose, dusty dirt road.  We have had a dry spring and summer which has left the road in a powdery, dry, dusty state forcing us mountain bikers to ride through this moon-dust like dirt sometimes up to two inches deep.  The pace, the hot sun, and the conditions make for a heavy sweat which can quickly soak one’s clothes.  Dripping in sweat I was not too thrilled when I heard that dreaded hissing sound of a tire rapidly going flat.  Dismounting my bike to survey the damage my feet were immediately engulfed in moon-dust and turned a dark brown.  The dust floated up my legs and soon they too were a muddy brown as the dust mixed with sweat.  The sun continued beating down and as I engaged the project of fixing this tire it seemed as though this dust and these circumstances were getting the best of me.  Sitting down and wrestling this tire in the dirt was beginning to look more and more like a mud wrestling match.  Covered in sweaty dirt-mud I looked up to wipe my brow, and as I did saw a fallen aspen timber lying near a small, cool creek with lush green grass all around in the shade of other trees.  “Now that is where I wanna fix a flat!” I exclaimed.  It was not a race so why was I trying to change it right where it happened?  It was time for a change of position.  Grabbing all my gear I picked up and moved thirty feet over to the lush, green, shaded goodness by the creek and propped myself on that sweet smooth log.  Soon the frustration went away and an aggravating ordeal turned into one of pleasure and joy.

I have heard people say that “we can’t change our circumstances, but we can change the way we respond to them.”  I don’t think that this is always true, there are indeed times when we can change our circumstances – we just have to be willing to get up and move.  Why do we allow ourselves to wallow in sweaty, loamy, dusty misery when just a little effort and fresh perspective can move us to the comfort of a log and a cool, clean brook in the middle of tasty, lush, green, shaded goodness?  Sometimes it is because we are in a race and we can accept those conditions, but beyond that why not look up, take a step to the side, do something different, make a change, find something better, whatever you do don’t just accept that the  place you are in is all that there is.  Most of the time there is something better if you take a second to just look.

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