The Bike Ride

I went for a bike ride today. I know, I know; I live such an exciting life, full of strange and wonderful adventures. I’m sort of a middle-aged Alice in Wonderland! But seriously, I did ride my bike today.

I have come to the conclusion that along with minimizing my possessions and commitments I also have one other thing to minimize: my body. I am fairly healthy and like to get out and do things, but I am also a little overweight and it affects how I feel physically and does slow me down at times.  So, I have decided that I need to include more physical activity in my life. My goal is to do something active everyday. I won’t always do the same thing, sometimes I’ll go for a walk or climb a rock wall. And sometimes I’ll ride my bike. Which brings me back to today.

I despise exercise for exercise’s sake. I don’t mind hard work. playing a game of basketball with a few friends or going for a bike ride with other people. But I loathe “working out”; especially alone. So today, when it came time to go on the bike ride that I had chosen as today’s physical activity, it made me feel grumpy. I decided to go ahead and get it over with, so I put on my sporty clothes, grabbed a water and got my bike out of the barn.

I live in the country and I ride down dirt roads that have little to no traffic on them. The scenery is quite beautiful. However, I was so annoyed about riding just for the exercise, I couldn’t even see it. I was having an inner dialogue about being hot, tired and sweaty. Generally just feeling gross. Fortunately, somewhere about the halfway point, I saw a deer by the creek and a light managed to come on in my gloomy brain. It helped me change the conversation to a more positive one. I decided to appreciate the fact the I was physically able to ride a bike and look around and enjoy nature. God definitely has a sense of humor, and I think he was checking to see if I still had one, because as soon as the thought to enjoy nature crossed my mind, a giant bug hit me in the face! I laughed so hard that I nearly fell off my bike and I’m sure anyone that saw me thought I was crazy. (And they are probably right!)

The rest of my ride was much better. I felt less hot, sweaty and tired because I wasn’t focused on that. I was focused on the wild flowers, songbirds, deer and even the bugs. That’s the lesson today. My mood and attitude, even the way I interact with others is dependent on my focus. Not only that, what I focus on is entirely up to me. I have to choose to be positive. I have to decide to be happy and to seek out the wonder in everyday life. I would hate to miss out on all of the beautiful things this life has to offer because I was looking at the world through a poorly focused lens.

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