Monday, November 23, 2015

Thoughts on Control

This could just be a rambling train of thought but when you are riding for 18+ miles your mind tends to wander.  One of the things I really love about riding is that it is great mental therapy as well as getting physical exercise.  

I started off my ride with no expectations of anything good happening other than riding for the sake of riding.  Normally I listen to a book on my iPod, but yesterday I was inspired to listen to some music.  I think this allowed my mind to think about things instead of being forced to focus on the book.  

As I was riding I was reflecting on life and the role "control" plays in it.  We'd had a trying week and I needed some therapy on the bike to sort out things.  One thing that came to mind was some parallels of cycling compared to life.  I try to control so many things in my life.  I have a binge eating disorder so I am constantly trying to control my urges to take my problems to the refrigerator.  My wife has been having some depression and anxiety issues and I've been trying to help her get better.  I need to continue to lose weight and control my diabetes so I am constantly trying to control my eating through using My Fitness Pal to monitor portion sizes and carbs and calories.  

Anyway, as I rode I was comparing riding to life and found some parallels between the two. The trails I ride on are covered in leaves at the moment as well as sticks as it is Fall.  I was using my handlebars to control the bike and using it to avoid the sticks, bumps and the occasional pothole.  It dawned on me that we do have some control over things we see in our paths.  We use our "handlebars" to maneuver carefully around as much as possible to avoid an accident, but even with our best intentions sometime we still crash.  The important thing about a crash (whether it be on our bikes or some event in our non-riding lives) is that we have to get up and get moving again.  

An example of this happened to me a month or two ago.  I was riding on the Lawrence River Trail.  This is a single track dirt/sand trail that is sort of like a mountain bike trail.  I say sort of because it is fairly easy compared to really technical trails.  I was out riding this trail and was having a great time.  It was a perfect day to be riding and like I said - this is a fairly easy trail.  I run the Road ID application on my phone when I am riding somewhere new so my wife has an extra level of security.  The Road ID gives my wife real time info on where I am, and if for some reason I stop moving for 5 minutes, it sends her an alert.  If she can't get a hold of me she most likely will call the police and give them my GPS coordinates so they can rescue me.  Well I had already accidentally put my wife into a panic with the use of this application so I knew not to do so again - not if I valued my life!

Anyway - I was riding along and just as I went over a rise the front wheel hit some deep sand and my handlebars cranked hard to the right and I had no choice but to keep going straight over the handlebars.  I hit pretty hard face down (thank goodness it was sand and not pavement) and the wind was partially knocked out of me.  Well the first thing that ran through my mind was that I needed to get back up and moving pretty quickly.  I knew that my wife would panic as I mentioned above, but also I was on the other side of the rise and there was a good chance someone else would come right over the rise and smash me.  I might add it was very difficult to get up and get moving.  I was stunned and trying to catch my breath.  But again - there was an urgency to get up quickly.  

If you really want to see the wreck and hear my moaning's and wailing's feel free to watch the video:

So I liken the handlebars to my way of controlling things.  Every once in a while "life" happens and we lose control.  But if we don't quickly pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get moving again we risk being run over by other problems.  

It is time to pick myself up from the wreckage of things that have happened lately and get moving again.  No matter how hard it might be.  

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