Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pondering summer and cycling and getting older

One of the things I love about summer is using the clothesline. And for me, among the most joyful things to hang out there are my cycling kits--or just jerseys, in most cases. Today, I realized I had a collection of this summer's favorite jerseys on the line:
The Jackson Co. Brevet jersey, the King of the Mountain Euskatel-Euskadi jersey Nikki and Tom brought me from the Tour de France, my Nicollet Bike Shop jersey, the Seattle Emerald City Cycling Club jersey, my old stand-by never-weary-of-promoting A-1 Bike Shop jersey (now a classic collectible), and my Gotta Love Hills girls' jersey that I actually designed. Set against greenish grass (in spite of the heat and drought) with horses in the background, it's hard to beat such a summer scene.

Last night, I stopped my car and snapped this on the way home after riding the fastest Time Trial of my life. I like TTs because it's me against the clock...but who's kidding here, I also want to beat other people, compare my times with theirs, and don't want to get passed by any but the fastest guys. I'm "old"--well over 50, and this summer has been one of my best cycling seasons ever. I've ridden four century rides, the awesome Jackson County Brevet, qualified for nationals in all four Senior Games cycling  events, and have ridden each subsequent time trial this summer faster and faster. The last two (on the same course as the Senior Games) I beat my national qualifying time.  It's a joyful thing to keep striving to grow after 50, I have to admit.

Sometimes I pause--cycling, writing, playing with Freya, or just driving, and I think, I really love my life.
That's a beautiful and peaceful, satisfying thing to be able to say.

When I used to feel that way--wow, I am really happy--I love my life--I used to think, uh-oh, that means something bad is going to happen because everything balances out; therefore, the other shoe will drop. Now I don't feel that way. It's okay to just revel in being who we are, to keep striving and growing and to love the effort.

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