Tuesday, 2 June 2015

cruising and musing

#midlife blog cresting the hill

As I mentioned in a post a while back, my reward to myself for being brave enough to quit my job was buying a bicycle. It's been really fun getting out and about, but as I was cruising along today I thought that riding a bike is a bit like navigating life.

midlife blog cresting the hill
It's feels like uphill all the way - but the easy bit will come!
Ups and downs:
No matter how much I would like the road to be smooth and straight for the whole time I am riding on it, it refuses to comply with my demands. There are hills in more places than I ever noticed when I was out walking. I console myself while I am plodding upwards (and my thigh muscles are burning) that for every uphill part of the journey, there will be a downhill glide - where I stop pedaling and the wind rushes by and I cover ten times more ground in half the time. The downhill can be fast and scary but so exhilarating!

Life is like that too - there are times when I am trudging uphill and nothing seems to be going easily and I wonder why I'm bothering. When the going gets tough it's really hard to just put my head down and push through, but when I manage to get past the hump there is often sunshine and a fresh breeze and life picks up pace again. The push uphill builds muscle (or perseverance or whatever) and I am even more appreciative of the smooth places and the cruise-y downward slopes. I'm even coming to a place where the scary bits start to feel exhilarating too!

midlife blog cresting the hill
Ben Jacques-Maynes
Better riders:
There is almost always someone who zips past me on their 10 speed racing bike - clad in an aerodynamic helmet and trendy cycling gear. I can feel a bit disheartened in comparison or I can just let them zoom along on their way while I enjoy the scenery and the steady pace that will eventually get me home. I don't envy their fitness particularly or their doggedness or their desire to be fast and furious - I'd much rather take things at my own leisurely pace.

Life is like that too - there will always be someone who is in a great job or has a fantastic house, or car, or over-achieving children or is off on another world trip. They are racing through life on a 10 speed and having a great (or not-so-great) time doing it. I could envy their drive and lifestyle, or I can choose to enjoy my simpler life where I can appreciate my steady pace and enjoy the pleasantness of a life without all that pressure to be the best.
midlife blog cresting the hill
Don't miss out on the ride!
Non-riders:
For every super-rider there is a casual couch potato sitting at home enjoying their TV or their coffee and cake. They watch me go by on my slow and steady bike ride and probably chuckle quietly to themselves at my efforts. They may even think about getting their bike out of the shed, but  that idea passes by and they sit back and have a snooze.

Life is like that too - I can choose to stay home and let the cobwebs gather on my bike. I can put my feet up and eat cake, but then I'd be missing out on all those hills and the exercise and experience they give me. I'd miss out on the thrill of free-wheeling down those hills I worked so hard to get to the top of - and I'd miss out on the fresh air and sunshine. Sitting back and watching life go by is very tempting but when you make the effort to get out there and have a go, it's worth every minute of the ride.

23 comments:

  1. I love your thoughts here! I should drag out my bike, but I need to put a double pad seat on it first! : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Angie - my tail feathers have certainly taken a beating but the riding has been fun!

      Delete
  2. Love this! I recently got a bike but have been procrastinating in using it. I'm going to stop worrying and start riding. I too need a double pad seat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good on you Rachee - just remember to lift your bottom off the seat on the bumpy bits of the road (there is probably a life lesson there too!)

      Delete
  3. I love my old, rusty bike and can ride for miles with a free mind and carefree abandon! Great title "cruising and musing" .... exactly what we do! I'm recharged and often ready to write.....thanks for knowing this pleasure deserves being put into beautiful words, Leanne! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Joan - I just love it when the sun is shining and the breeze is blowing (gently) and there is a definite element of recharging!

      Delete
  4. Two years ago I retired from my full time editing/writing job downtown to part time editing/writing from a home office. The thing I miss most [besides the people] is the bike commute. Seven miles mildly downhill to get there, arriving at work with all the cob webs swept from my mind and my brain energized. And coming home, even better. Seven miles worth of riding off any frustrations or annoyances from the day on the job. Loved that cruising and musing, downhill and uphill. Still get out to ride but it's not the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wow 7 miles!! each way - I'm very impressed - I think I've got a bit of a way to go before I reach that distance but the hills certainly take out the frustrations :)

      Delete
  5. I love your analogy Leanne! We all need to get out more and enjoy the ride!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rena - it's such a pleasant time (when the hills aren't too steep!)

      Delete
  6. Hi Leanne! I have a cruiser bike and absolutely LOVE it. And I love all your life tips learned from your bike. They are all exactly what happens. ~Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy - I'm always happy to have your tick of approval :) Nice to know that there is also another fellow bike rider out there!

      Delete
  7. Hi Leanne great post and I like the comparison between biking and life. Unfortunately I can't ride a bike so I run. Thank you for sharing with us at #WednesdaysWisdom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue - thanks for stopping by - I'd like to be a runner so bike riding is my alternative.

      Delete
  8. This is so good Leanne - and so true! I'm terrible about comparing myself to others - so I especially liked number 2!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lana - I am a big compare-er too and I'm working on that constantly!

      Delete
  9. Love your thoughts Leanne, I ride an old bike to work most days. Thanks for sharing on #wednesdayswisdom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen - I love that you are riding regularly - I'm aiming for a few times a week.

      Delete
  10. I discovered your blog via Terri's link-up party. I like it and think I'll stick around for more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - so glad you stopped by (and I love the your "retirementally challenged" title) I'm off to have a look at your blog too :)

      Delete
  11. Hi Leanne, your post was just perfect for The Leisure Link! And I see you found another blogger from the link-up!! Hope to see another post next week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Terri - I love finding like minded bloggers and I will definitely be back :)

      Delete
  12. I've gotten back into bike riding too. Yes I see those people zipping by me too! And I'm OK just peddaling and enjoying the views! --Rosemond
    via #midlifeluv

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...