Paring Life Down to What’s Important

I slowly came out of a deep sleep this morning to the sound of my alarm buzzing on the carpet as my phone charged. I rolled off the bed and slid into my pre-laid out yoga clothes. I peeked around the corner going down the stairs and saw Maybellene sliding off the couch in a very similar manner. We both trotted outside to a wet sidewalk. The drizzle was enough to keep Maybellene planted on the porch versus running to the grass to pee. She sat on her haunches and I sat on the chair in my socks. We just sat, sniffed the wet air, and pondered the day. She pondered the dog park, I considered a pre-ride latte.

The dog park has become a more standard event that Maybellene and I share together. Since I left work, I have a free morning schedule which often begins with a 6:45 walk to the park with our friends Mikkela (human) and Edi (dog). When we walk back, we check to see if Kennett is awake so as to assess our allowed noise volume. This morning Kennett was preparing breakfast on the kitchen counter because he had a morning doctor’s appointment. I convinced him to get coffee after he ate and watched the video recap of a two-day old Vuelta stage.

I was scheduled to ride at 9am with Faith, so I had time to spare at Amante Coffee down the street. A one shot soy latte is a great precursor to the day; whether the day contains a run, a bike-ride, or sometimes just if it requires I be attentive to life. One shot isn’t enough to start a unbreakable coffee habit and isn’t enough to give me extra watts on the bike. It is, however, enough to get me on the bike in the first place.

On our ride, Faith and I went up Jamestown. Jamestown is one of the best rides because there isn’t a single stretch of road to anticipate. No steep section that requires I shift into the baby gears, stand, and force my weight on each pedal – all while looking ahead to see how long it is before I can sit back in my saddle. Another bonus of climbing up to Jamestown is the river that courses over rocks next to the winding road. Today, the road traffic was especially light, so the river offered a great background noise. The morning rain had stopped long ago at the dog park, but the fresh air that remained urged me to take extra deep, slow breathes to soak in the brilliant morning weather.

Which leads me to tell you that, through all the crash details and all the related emotions I’ve left on this blog, today was why I continue to ride. I ride so that I can catch up with friends. Or so I can leave everything I’ve got inside me on the road at the end of an interval (occasionally literally). And those are great reasons, but when it comes down to why I had to be back on my bike after crashing, it is for days like today when I’m sailing downhill with nothing but a few intermittent pedal strokes. Riding behind Faith and bouncing between cool shady areas and sunny patches that instantly warmed my skin, I felt very happy and content.

Whatever your day looks like today, I hope you find space to do something you love, with a person (or dog) who is important to you.


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