Thursday, November 24, 2011


At first blush, the video below would seem to represent some alleged adults faffing off on bicycles.

And I'd say that's pretty accurate.

But because I was present I can provide a bit of insight that the camera cannot.

The string of moments shown were somehow extraordinary for each person--such that they were taken outside of their comfort zone for at least a little while.

Jeny sessioning the 'closet' switchback. Stevie attempting the teeter/roller. Ed attempting full suspension *and* gears! Scott learning to pump the tables. Derrell revising his opinion (mine too!) on whether the step-up-gap outta the hole could be cleared.

What we all had in common was not knowing whether we *could* do what we were about to try. The awareness and anxiety that come from that uncertainty are among the greatest spices to this life. That I've found yet, anyway. It isn't all about adrenalin, nor speed. Sometimes it's about slowing down to the point where your wheels will no longer roll, then feathering the balance point and applying heaping amounts of body english. Literally and metaphorically.

Regardless of velocity or endorphination, we shared a complete focus on the task at hand. We were NOT texting while paying halfhearted attention to the pot of water on the stove. No drone of TV in the background as we made breakfast while thinking about the day ahead. No ring of a cell phone interrupting a conversation with friends. One thing, and one thing only was happening, and we were with it. In it.

I'm probably more sensitive to the increasing amount of chaos in this world than most. I write that because I'm becoming more intolerant of it by the day. Some chaos is chosen, some of it is forced upon us, some of it is a byproduct of some other choice. Pointing fingers and placing blame is not the point.

Only when the chaos is removed can we truly appreciate the simple pleasures this life has to offer: The pounding of your heart in your ears just before you release the brake levers and drop in. The zzzzzzzz of your freewheel, and nothing else, midair over the creek gap. The eternity between committing to a teeter and the moment when it grudgingly commits back. The giddy-like-a-schoolgirl laughter that explodes out of us afterwards.

I've taken steps to re-sensitize myself to these moments this year. Like any learned skill, they disappear without frequent practice.