Times Like These: The Cleansing Nature of a Training Ride

author : Courage
comments : 2

Here there are no judges, here I take out what I put in times ten. Here, in my church, I am reborn of spirit. And the next hill is upon me and I'm joyful for it. Joyful for the pain and the work.

The week of work started to wear off. It poured from me in rivulets of water, running out of me, cascading down the waterfall that is my body, carrying away a week of judging and being judged.

I turned those pedals over and over and over in a forever circle of rebirth while Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters played the soundtrack of my workout. Every pause in the sound stream was punctuated by the grunts and groans of the others spinning alongside, hips swaying with the effort while heads bobbed to the beat that moved us all in place. We were all mouthing the same prayers.

"It’s times like these you learn to live again...."

But my cleansing was just beginning. Outfitted in armor built to keep out the cold and the wind and the questions and doubts, I straddled my bike and entered my church. Here was my pew, my confessional, my worship. I clipped in.

The cold bit down and reassured me I was here and now and alive. The week that was tried to find gaps in my armor to sneak through and invade, but I had weapons at the ready. I hit the hill and the prayer began.

"It’s times like these you give and give again..."

Circles, always circles.... always looking up and always the pain comes blessedly reminding me that it’s all just temporary. I begin to drop the weights of a world always looking to push you down and back and out. But here there is no judge, no arbitrary court of personal opinion, no right by might or proxy or say so. There is me and my machine in worship together.

The purity of it all comes pouring into me, filling up what I left on the floor of the bike shop—the empty places that find us all and fill us with nothing and build on that with pyramids of void.

Here there are no judges, here I take out what I put in times ten. Here, in my church, I am reborn of spirit. And the next hill is upon me and I'm joyful for it. Joyful for the pain and the work and the determination of which mine is the only choice as to surrender or conquest…and, in turn, my own forgiveness to dole when I fail.

"It’s times like these you learn to love again..."

And still the pedals go round in circles, perfect circles showing a beginning to an end to a beginning again. And that, too, is reassuring. I reach the top of another climb, close to breaking, but my faith in self and God and purpose allows me to work that extra piece way down in the soul that we always doubt is there until there is no other place to go for help or respite or salvation.

And I rejoice as the sun washes over me and I am empty of the void and ready to be filled again, and I smile and raise my arms and know that I am whole again. But I ride a little longer and smile at the other pilgrims out here on the road on their own quests because we are the same you and I but also not at all. But we know, don't we, all of us, what it means every time we go out there alone together...

"and it’s times like these time and time again..."

Eric J

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date: September 18, 2007

Courage

ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
USCF Cycling Coach
SBCU Certified Bike Fitter

avatarCourage

ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
USCF Cycling Coach
SBCU Certified Bike Fitter

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