Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Call it Cross Training

It doesn't take too much to make me real super happy. Sometimes. I'm a pretty simple guy and I lead a pretty simple life. Sometimes all it takes is about two hours spent on my bike. I like to think that I'm happy most of the time anyway but getting some time on the bike always has a way of amping that happiness up a notch or two. A common expression in cycling is "long rides rule." Fine but so do short rides and medium rides and medium short rides and medium long rides and short long medium rides and long medium short rides and medium long short rides. Rides in general rule so when I have a chance to get a ride in it makes me real super happy.

Last Saturday was just such a day and I was stoked. The weather was perfect as far as winter weather goes. High 40Fs and a nice breeze from the south and sunny. Just right for a ride and I had the time. In fact I had the time for a long ride even. I had the time for any kind of ride I wanted to take that day. Everyone in my family also had an expectation of me taking that time and going on a long ride. What more could I ask for? I would say that's as nice a setup for the opportunity to have a nearly perfect day as I could have and I was real super happy. I love it when a plan comes together.

There is a point in time in a day like that that I really enjoy. It's that point in time where I grab whatever bike I'm going to ride and walk it up the stairs and lean it against the edge of the couch in the living room as I get ready. I enjoy that point in time. It's right at that moment when a good day instantly transforms itself into a great day. It's right at that moment when I go from being a dad and a husband and instantly become a cyclist. It's right at that moment I know that in a few minutes I'm going to be out there riding and the road and the bike are going to let me know who I have become.

So the other day when I had my perfect day all lined out and I had a long ride planned and the weather was perfect and the bike was ready and that point of time that I really like was right there in front of me - I made a decision to NOT go for a ride. I made a decision to NOT bring my bike up the stairs. I made a decision that long rides were not going to rule that day. Not right then. The bike was going to stay home and I was going to do something else. At that moment that I like so much I made a decision to spend some time with my family.

I decided to take my family down to the river parkway and go for a long walk and that's what we did. We walked for almost two hours that afternoon. The weather was perfect and the river parkway was beautiful. My wife and I took turns pushing the boys in the stroller and the girls scootered and roller bladed up ahead of us. I gave my younger daughter a piggy-back ride a few times when she got tired and we turned around at a little playground and let the kids play there a bit before heading back. It was fun and we had a great time together. My wife and I walked and talked and we remembered all over again why we fell in love with each other.

That day was still a perfect day for a ride but the tables were turned. I was at that moment in time that I like so much and instead I decided that on that perfect day for cycling that I would not cycle. I would not go for a ride. Instead of becoming a cyclist at that specific moment in time I decided instead that I would remain a dad and a husband. Instead of the road and the bike letting me know who I had become I was going to give my wife and kids an opportunity to do that. I was going to focus on them instead of on me and I was going to have fun. When we were done I realized that everyone - including me - had had a fantastically great time and I decided right then to call it cross training. I also decided right then that I need to do more cross training and do it a little more often.

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