I just bought a commuter bike for the five and a half mile trek between my house and office. With a wife and 3 kids, making time to work out can be quite challenging, so commuting on a bike is my newest attempt to get the blood pumping. I just simply can’t listen to Tony Hortman’s jokes on P90X anymore.
When I was a kid, riding my bike was a critical part of my life. It’s how I got to my friends’ house, pretended to be a professional stuntman, and most importantly how I made my way to the gas station so I could get candy.
I spent the better part of my pre-driving life pedaling my bike all over the place. Man, I’ll never forget the those days riding with friends, building ramps from cinder blocks and plywood, and lighting the occasional random thing on fire.
Now that I’m back on a bike after 15+ years of non-biking, those childhood feelings and memories are rushing back during my rides. Timing street crossings just right, learning shortcuts and backroads through the town, and the sense of adventure and accomplishment that comes from your heart racing and legs burning.
The journey is as fun as the destination. Knowing that you’re pushing for a goal and maneuvering for an end result is satisfying by itself. When you’re riding a bike from point A to point B, you know that you WILL get there, it’s just a matter of continuing to pedal and to keep pushing. Keep going. Take a break sure, but you start up again and have fun along the way. Jump curbs, dodge traffic, feel the fresh air hit your face as you bomb the downhills. These things are all part of “getting there.” This is the fun part. Aching muscles and all.
And now as I ride I keep thinking of this metaphor. Life is a journey. You will never stop pedaling. It’s not so bad if your legs start to burn, in fact it’s good for you. Don’t focus on your legs burning, focus on pushing through and preparing for the downhill. Next time your legs will be stronger. And the next time, stronger still.