I'm not one to listen to music while on my bike ride, nor do I have company during these six hours of training. So, what do I think about to fill all those hours? This question has been asked of me over and over again and it has dawned on me that the hours go by quite effortlessly. It does not come as a surprise to many, but the ride always seems like a new journey, even though the route may be exactly the same.
Life truly is one constant change—from the scenery to the activities unfolding before me, from the tingling of my muscles to the thoughts in my head. Upon closer scrutiny, I find my reflection time has a few themes.
Breath: It's the sole purpose of my practice to watch the breath and visualize where each breath goes to into the body, including the energy I give it. This is a very powerful practice that I have followed throughout my life, having been taught since I was a child. It is a constant stream of energy and a state of meditation to concentrate on the breath in one's movement.
Nature: So much of the world is at our fingertips and during this opportunity, I find myself drifting into the intricacies of nature. The thoughts flow like water as I absorb the natural beauty around me ... the ripples in the pond, the stillness of the marsh, how the egret majestically takes flight, the brilliance of the pelican in his diving techniques, the greenery of the rolling meadows, the calmness of the cows, the undulating waves and the message the wind sends through the leaves.
People: As I let my mind go, it's amazing how names of people appear—friends, acquaintances, family and other individuals I've encountered along the way. This happens either because they have been on my mind or perhaps their positive energy finds me on my ride and I consume it with such joy!
Ideas: Often, my creativity is stimulated during these bike rides, or for that matter any exercise. The ideas may come in the form of solutions or offerings to customers and clients. It may even address an issue I've been facing at work, health, in the family or a conversation I've had about something a loved one is going through. Nevertheless, the ideas are many times groundbreaking and illuminates a path that is full of possibility and positive outcomes.
World: The time we live in now is faced with many global issues that impact us all, from poverty and global warming to climate change and sustainability. These issues are definitely, foremost in my mind and I dwell on them while riding, reflecting on the things people have said, shared and acted on. It is my time to hear what my heart has to say about these issues that are dear to me. This ride gives me the opportunity to truly reflect.
It is so true, time flies when you are having fun. No doubt, there has been the occasional pain or discomfort sitting in the saddle for all those hours, but truthfully, it is one of the most cherished times of my life. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to meditate on all life has to offer, to reflect on the wonders around us and the opportunity that lies ahead. Time does go by and the ride of a lifetime begins again with every pedal stroke.