Monday, August 24, 2009

Empty and yet so full

Okay, here I am, Monday evening, tired and empty.Yesterday was bike ride day, the big day.We did a 117 km (72.7 miles) ride and it was pretty warm and pretty new and for us pretty big.

For Mira and me it was the first time to be part of such a ride, normally we ride around the area where we live and we follow our front wheel and see where we end up. This ride was all planned and arranged, and there were other people on bikes.

When I was a kid and I had my birthday party coming up, I would work myself up all week, getting excited, being busy with it in my head, to only end up cranky as shit on my birthday, tired and not really able to have fun. All these years later not much has changed, apart from my awareness around this. I believe it was on Wednesday that I realized that I wasn't really looking forward to biking with other people, on Thursday I started worrying about the route that was new, on Friday I decided to put new pedals with a new click system on my bike and on Saturday I kinda lost my ability to function within regular society. I have been told once that cyclists are the most obsessive among sporters, I fit in, I truly fit in. I am anal, obsessive, controlling and rigid. So Sunday morning I was so nervous that it was really hard toeat, not handy two hours before a long ride.

When I was a kid I was unable to turn my birthday day into a nice experience, I believe I withdrew a bit from the other kids. Sunday I did not had to do my best for that at all. Since both Mira I just started we were slower than most people, so after some time we had our own private ride. We talked about giving up and we continued riding, we talked about taking it easy and we continued riding. I cried and thought about giving up and I did not get off the bike, I continued, with the support of Mira. Mira thought she was not able to get into it after lunch and she could, with my help. Unlike the past, with the birthday parties, I was able to turn my day in a very, very successful day, simply by practicing perseverance and by participating. That may seem simple common sense while sitting on the couch. On a bike, in the journey, it takes tapping into a strength that one does not use on a average day.

At the end of the ride our route and the longer one came together and we joined a bunch of guys. We all finished our ride and that gives something really nice, a feeling of being connected. It doesn't matter all that much how fast one went or how far one went, we are all there at the end and finished, our bodies tired, our asses sore, our spirit high and bright. It is the feeling of finishing, the experience of accomplishment that is really special. I don't think one needs to bike for that, it can be done by finishing a course, driving for your licence, painting the house etc. etc., simply setting a goal and making it.

It was a long and heavy day for me, needless to say that I was tired when I came home and slept like a baby. Today I was still tired and I felt a bit empty. When we were at the station yesterday to go back to Amsterdam we saw some bikers doing stunts, we also met a guy who had just finished a 24 hr mountain bike ride. We were on a natural high and zoning the crap out of our heads, not all there. At home under the shower I cried, had to let some emotions out.

Today all of that was gone, yet I was too tired to pick up my normal Monday. At a certain point I started to feel really empty and a bit negative, so I called someone and told that person about my day yesterday. He is a runner, he knows this. While I told him about my day, about the bikers we met, about almost giving up and more, I started to feel happy and full and grateful for my day yesterday.

It is all just perspective, everything is. A day can be like clay in my hands I can make or break it. I can withdraw, like I did as a kid, or I can participate, like I did Sunday. I can sit in it alone or I can share it. I can enjoy being tired or take it as a problem and be frustrated with myself all day. I can be sad and empty because yesterday is over or I can be celebrating because I could have yesterday and hold the memory today.

It is the good old glass thing, is it half full or half empty, if it is half empty it might be because I enjoyed some good milk and bless me I still have half a glass left.

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