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November 15, 2004

Life is a process

Tonight after work I rode 26 miles in the dark. Since the weather was nice I decided to take advantage of it and get some extra riding in. So with that I only have 4 miles to go to reach 3000 miles, which Iíll pass tomorrow. Itís hard to believe that itís been so many miles! But I did it. Of course I did not do it all at once. Just like everything major in life, we donít do it instantly. Usually itís a process of doing something consistently over a period of time that creates a grand accomplishment. To me this is grand, especially since last year I basically sat in front of a computer all day and did only occasional exercise by walking.
I was talking with my friend Dan about aging and sports. He was saying how his greatest speed in races did not come when he rode the most miles, but when he did the most speed training. Then he said that his best speed is not what it used to be, because heís older now. Heís still bike racing and has over 400 races behind him. He has record of all of his miles, and all of his race times. Looking back over the years, he can see when he peaked athletically. But, Dan is still going. He still races and still rides nearly every day. Many top athletes in High School just drop out of their sport and donít accumulate a record like Dan has. There was a time when he was really hard on himself when he started slowing down on his race times (Heís still really fast compared to most people and still wins some races) because doing it for so long, he knows what he was capable of when he was at his peak athletically. I thought about that and shared my perspective with him, being a newcomer to this sport at the age of 41. I donít have a record to compare my times to and plan on starting cycle racing this Spring. I donít have the same expectations on myself as someone who has been there since his early high-school days and has competed professionally, but I do know that whatever I do will be a great accomplishment for me. I can compare the process of what Iím doing now, to the process of what I was doing before. I can compare my experiences with the non-experience I had before trying this. Then later on in life I may look back and see the thousands of miles Iíve put on and say wow, was that a great ride!
Iíve heard the phrase, ďLife is a processĒ many times before. Itís a liberating phrase. We can accomplish things in life, but to me they are not the end. The accomplishments are milestones along the way. They are part of the big picture of life in this human form, which keeps on living after we ride 3000 miles or 100000 miles. During the ride I see and experience new things, and meet new people. I contribute who I am to whatever I am doing and that touches other peopleís lives, sometimes in ways I donít know. Dan has touched my life by encouraging me and mentoring me in cycling. Thatís been a great accomplishment along his path and he might not even realize what he has done. To me, this is a real example of how life is a process. Everything we do is part of the process of living and experiencing life. And it's not over yet!

Posted by carl1236 at November 15, 2004 11:59 PM