In the old days when I was a teenager -- you know, the simple days when dinosaurs roamed etc, and Tipper Gore warned us of the evil of Twisted Sister -- my next door neighbor and best friend "Kim" was an avid runner. We were having one of those deep talks that teens have and she told me, "Running is everything to me. It's my daily religion. It's my addiction. I cannot imagine life without running. If something happened to my legs life would be over. You know what I mean, right?"
I was a talented runner and Kim's running partner, but no, I had no idea what she talked about. But Kim's my best friend, and she's very pretty, so of course I nodded with enthusiasm. "Oh yeah, I know exactly what you mean."
It's now 20 years later and Kim still runs marathons and charity 10Ks in the Puget Sound area, while I've completely given up running. But I now understand what she meant back in 1983, because cycling is my daily meditation, my addiction, my drug. I've thought about what would happen if something were to happen to my legs that kept me off of my bike and it's difficult for me to picture.
I'm thankful that I have the health and physical and mental capability to ride a bike. I've thought about all of the accidental and random circumstances that combined to make me enthusiastic about cycling -- when I got a Schwinn LeTour for Christmas in 1981 and rode a criterium (in cutoff corduroys) the next summer. Kim (she's very pretty) started riding a bike -- her dad's white Fuji 10 speed -- after a knee injury, so of course I had ride too. I met enthusiastic cyclists when I got into college and discovered centuries. All of this and more combined to make me the cyclist I am today.
I'm thankful for more than that, of course -- for my wife and children. I'm thankful I'm gainfully employed, and I'm thankful for a four day weekend. I'm thankful also for my friends, many of whom I've met (both virtually and in the flesh) through this blog and yours. I'm thankful for the wider perspectives the medium of Web 2.0 brings to me.
Tough times are ahead, but I hope to maintain my perspective on the things that really matter. Happy Thanksgiving, all!
IMPORTANT: Please post comments for this article at the new CYCLELICIOUS 2.0 version of this page.
Great post Fritz. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
Word! Great post, it's great to consider the things that we value and keep us going. I look forward to cycling daily and I'm thankful that I stumbled back into it. And the getting in touch with the greater cycling world through the web is a great way to find kindred spirits.
Fritz- Buddy, right there with you; without my bikes, I shudder to imagine what/ who I'd be. I understand the "tough times ahead" as I have many as well. It is the love of my friends and my kids that keeps me going... that and a good ride.
Hope your Thanksgiving was full of friends, family and maybe even a ride.
Amen to your post and to the comments above. I was thinking the same thing a couple days ago. My daily ride to work and home is about the only "me time" I get and if I have to skip it I miss it both physically and emotionally. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. You know that Cyclelicious is one of the things we're all thankful for, don't you?
From a guy who has gone through several "Count it all joy" times already...
Cheers Fritz! Yes- Thinking back... I'm thankful for that new found freedom we find as kids... that first ride without training wheels. I found that feeling again completing my first of three century rides in the NC mountains this year. I'll be sure to check in on your blog daily.
One thing you can always say about life is that there are always tough times ahead. But if you have any age on you at all there are tough times behind as well. Getting through it and remaining grateful for all the important things in life is a sign of a life well lived.
These days I'm stuck on a sheep farm in rural Australia with only a Brompton 3-speed folder to slake my bike addiction. It's been hard not to have a stable of bikes to choose from and harder still to have nowhere really to ride to. But you know what? In the middle of writing this I picked up the pacifier that my 4 month old daughter had spat out in her sleep. Her beautiful face is a constant reminder of how lucky I am bike or no bike, and your post reminded me of that.
Thank you Fritz, and all the best to you and yours.