Today I wimped out of my bike ride in favor of the warmth and still air of my garage trainer. Desiring 90 minutes workout I put on some tunes and pedeled. Tried to play some games. Tried to get my head either wrapped around or disolved into the ride. But it wasn’t until the final song, the final ten minutes that I was able to sink into the handlebars, to relinquish undesired tension in my shoulders, to become one with the bike…to surrender to the ride.
Upon hopping off the bike I wondered what had kept me from doing that sooner. Huh; may never know.
I went to meet my stair climbing comrade SJV at the BofA building for a wee climbing session. Thrilled with the concept of climbing faster but not so thrilled with the process of how we are to get there, we set off to take the stairs two-at-a-time. We procrastinated. The workout: 10 x 5 flights, double stepping. No watches, no heart rate monitors, no Garmins. Just ipods and SJV’s final words, “Just for fun today”.
Enter Third Day, one of my favorite bands. When the day began and you opened up your eyes, no you didn’t recognize what you were seeing. Just a little more than a year ago I could I was in pain. I had taken a tumble in a stairwell, unable to lift my foot far enough for the next step. Now I’m climbing stairs. “For fun”. Then it all came back, you remembered where you’ve been. Oh yeah, I’m better now. “Well”, even. I can do this. It never seems to end and you’re still running. Damn straight. Running again. Still running. “For fun”.
Second verse. Now the day is done and you want to close your eyes and pretend that you are fine but you’d be lying. And you want it back, the life that you once had ’cause inside you find that you are slowly dying. Huh. I am fully aware of what the song means, but today I hear it completely differently as I climb.
I’m there to remember my friend, John Foley. And at the very hour I climb John Hannon’s friends and family are celebrating his life as they lay him to rest. Another young, strong, athletic, handsome, vital member of our community has been taken by lung cancer.
You better give up, better stop running. It’s the end of the line, time to surrender. Hands up. Turn it around. Fall to the ground…
But alas, to every thing there is a season and a purpose. A time to be born, a time to heal, a time to laugh, a time to dance and ride bikes and climb stairs…just for fun. A time to lose, a time to mourn, a time to embrace and refrain from embracing…and embrace again. Or maybe just embrace the moment.
You better give up, better stop running. It’s the end of the line, time to surrender. Hands up. Turn it around. Fall to the ground…oh wait. Are you gonna’ surrender?
Am I going to surrender? Oh. I get to choose. Next time I get on my bike, I think I’d like to surrender a little faster. Surrender to the ride, surrender to the bike, so I can become one with the training session. Embrace it. Let the bike carry me. And the stair climb…I can DO that…to honor my friend. I can breathe hard and be damn glad that I can breathe hard. I can surrender my precious little ego and feel like a rookie exerciser and raise some funds. And laugh and dance and be born. Again.
Is it time to surrender? Yes and No. Aaaaahhhh…the clarity that comes with a good workout!