It’s good to know that at 48 I’m still getting better. Today I wanted to go on a bike ride. I wanted to ride fast. I wanted to ride faster than I ever have. I wanted to ride faster than I ever have and skip one of my goals. I should know better.
I have a goal.
Ride faster than my previously fastest 10 miles in 32.03 minutes. Beat 32 minutes.
Then beat 30 minutes.
Then of course ride 200 miles in one 24 hour period.
I thought today, not having planned it, but just waking up decided if I go on a bike ride today I will try to beat 30 minutes.
Being afflicted with some OCD tendencies I would think that skipping from beating 32 minutes to 30 minutes is a no-no. Not so. I would just have to do it twice. Regardless of what order I did it in. If I rode faster than 20 miles an hour for ten miles today, it would count as beating my 30 minute goal. I would then still have to do a less than 32 minute ride to technically beat both goals.
Don’t worry. I don’t expect you to understand. It’s one of the perks of being me.
So I ride. And what a beautiful ride it was. Sunny. Hot. Blues. Greens. Smiles. Sweat.
I did not ride ten miles in less than 30 minutes.
I did, however, beat my best time to date by exactly one minute.
I didn’t feel bad. Considering there is no place to ride that I know of that allows you go at least 10 miles without stop signs, cross walks, pedestrians and fellow bikers. Considering all of the parts and pieces I’ve broken and had reinforced with alien metals, I’m thrilled with the ability to keep striving. So I’m pleased I beat one goal.
Because beating that goal empowered me. I’m almost two years older than the last time I really got to test myself on this. I think. I don’t want to look back through my workout journal to see. The point is I rode faster today than I ever have to this point in my life. Which means, I’m older than I was at any other time I did this. And I’m still getting better. I still have the ability to improve. I still have ability to get stronger. Get faster. Work hard. And see rewards.
Why do I want to ride faster?
Why do I want to keep riding harder?
What’s the point of putting in so many miles on a bike?
Riding my bike takes me to a lot of places I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. I meet people I would never have met if I sat in my house or experienced life only from looking out of car windows or at a TV screen. I ride for the air I have to suck in. I ride for the fuel I have to burn. I ride fast to finish the ride to get to the next things in life. I ride long because it keeps me healthy. It takes me through life and extends my life by every mile I ride.
If I believe I can get better. Stronger. Faster. I can continue to ride to the places that matter. The places that count.
So far my personal experience with getting older is: the harder you work the more reward you have to look forward to. The more disciplined you are with how you live, the better quality of life you have. The more responsibility you accept and step up to, the more freedoms you have in experiencing the riches the world has to offer: joy, satisfaction, happiness, peace, compassion, experience, gratitude, appreciation, values, ethics, meaning.
I ride as fast as I can and as often as I can because I am chasing health. I am trying to get as far as I can. I am trying to reach as much as I can.
Because I have things to do, places to be, and people to be with. And these people I need to be able to do things with and go places with.
One minute faster today was good enough. For today. But not good enough-to stop. Not good enough to stop getting better, stronger, faster.