Stillness

After Friday’s more reflective post about managing your energy (brahmacharya, in yogic terms), the long weekend in the US gave me the opportunity to retreat. Not the kind like giving up in a war. I hate war, but this is not a post about that. And I don’t mean a fancy spa (I wish!) or escaping to a meditation center, though I’ve done the latter. I mean I’m house and petsitting, which is a nice chance to do less outward activity and to do other things that have been neglected. Go within, reflect, journal, rest and read. To experience something many of us forget is there all around us and within us. Stillness.

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I Didn’t Ride My Bicycle Today, and I’m Okay With That

Returning readers recall relatively recent reflections recommending rest. After five days of riding my bike almost 90 miles, and knowing I would reach 100 miles last week, this weekend I did very little. My body, my left knee and quadricep muscle in particular, were very grateful. As usual I was having trouble getting myself going. So when a friend offered to come by and help with some errands in his car, I jumped, however gently, at the opportunity. Later, we went for a walk, and it got late. I could have forced myself to go put in some miles on the bicycle, but I did not. And it was glorious. Let me tell you.

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Give Yourself Permission to Just Do Nothing!

Thomas Merton was a Catholic monk born in France who moved to Kentucky. He wrote over 60 books, encouraged inter-religious dialog with the likes of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, and others and advocated for pacifism and social justice. He died in 1968 in his early 50’s when he accidentally was electrocuted stepping out of his shower where a running fan had fallen over. (Some say he was assassinated by the CIA.) While I’ve not read his work, I’ve seen this quote below before. And it seems more relevant than ever in 2019.

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No Bike for You! 24 Degrees and Sleet Win

Today was a day that I could have biked, but I didn’t.  I could use the sleet and tiny hail that fell on Austin streets today and the cold weather for excuses.  But the precipitation didn’t stick to the roads, and it’s not like I’m in Fargo, North Dakota or somewhere actually very cold.  With enough layers it can be done.  There was my headache, probably due to a lack of sleep.  For the latter, I can blame the excellent film Sicario:  Day of the Soldado which I stayed up to watch on DVD.  Or there was being busy:  two friends were over to help start packing for my move, and they gave me a ride to the second half of a how to start your own business class.  I walked almost two miles and then just wasn’t feeling like going back out.  So I didn’t.  It was nice to, um, just chill out.

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A Random Rest Day Potpourri Post After a 153-Mile Week on the Bicycle

It’s blog deadline time again.  Usually I have no problem coming up with a topic.  Tonight I kind of did.  I notice my posts tend to fall in several categories:  a status report on my biking / walking / yoga / dieting / blogging / book-writing; something educational, entertaining or informative about bicycling; something off-topic but tangentially related to riding a bike; and then the totally random rave, rant or other piece like a movie review.  This one is kind of a mix of the first and last.  I’m as curious to see where it goes as hopefully you are, and  I hope you like the smell of potpourri! Continue reading

Getting Back on the Horse (aka Bicycle) After a Medical Break + Janeane Garafolo

Ten days off the bike is the longest break I’ve had since I can remember.  It’s possibly the longest stretch sans bici since I began doing long distances back in January of 2015, pre-Strava.  It has been hard, sad, relaxing, and other things — just a weird time.  And I’m not out of the woods in terms of the medical situation that put me there.  Of course, I’m not the only person who’s had to stop activity for a health challenge, of course, and it could be far worse.  Some people have crashes (Tour de France, on parle de toi!), surgery, or life-altering issues.  I hope I’m not one of them.  Physically, there are changes, and there are also psychological ones.  That’s what this post is about, so click on through and check it out, already! Continue reading

Eight Days a Week… Off the Bicycle: Viewing Setbacks Through a Buddhist Lens

It’s been eight days since I’ve ridden a bicycle.  Why?  Heat.  Illness.  Lastimas. Life.  (Lastimas is wounds or injuries in Spanish. So that spells H.I.L.L, doesn’t it?  I meant to.)  When thought of in this way, it’s another set of obstacles, another rise in the road to climb, something that tests you but also makes you stronger.  Part of me is relieved, and lucky to have use of a car.  Another part of me is pissed off that I’m losing whatever fitness and form I had.  Another is panicking that I may not get it back, or get back to it, or even be able bike at all without more injury or at least pain.  Breathing in deeply, I notice I am not riding my bicycle.  Breathing out, I notice that I am writing a blog post about not riding my bicycle. Continue reading