Just 10 Miles Left

I started out fast and hard.  Timing myself to see how fast.  Pushing myself for the day to see how hard I could ride this day.  Could I ride as fast as I could ten years ago.  Five years ago.   Last week.

The first ten miles I didn’t think about much other than where I was going and how fast I could get there.  I loved the feeling of the grit hitting my legs.   The sweat pouring down my arms and down my back.

I was racing the storms coming.

I was trying to keep up with the sun.

After that first 10 miles or so I started thinking.  I didn’t have to ride as hard.  Ten miles is my marker.  Can I do what I used to do in the same time or better.  That’s what I measure against.  Have I managed to hold on to what I can do.   Usually after that 10 miles I start to ride different.  If pedaling is smooth and fast and no matter what I do I can’t slow down-I go with it.  If I have a desire to not go as fast I don’t worry about it….too much.

After I finished the first 10 miles and pedaled on for a few more I realized where I was on the trail.   I sat up straighter on the bike.  I looked at my odometer.  Just 10 miles left.

Why am I speeding and powering through it?

It’s only going to get me to the end.  Faster.  And then I have to start winding down the freedom of the day and enter in to the responsibility of tomorrow.

Why.  Why!  Why am I trying so hard to finish this ride?

Tomorrow I can’t be here.  I can’t be doing this.  What is my rush and why power through it?

I slowed down.  I stopped on occasion.  I rode sitting up.  And I rode in to the wind.  And I rode it out as long as I could make it go.

I’m not a fool.   I know the next time I’ll do the same thing.  Get going as fast as I can.  Hard as I can. Testing myself – against myself.   Then I’ll see how close I am to being done.   And wish I didn’t have to finish so soon.  And wonder if I missed something along the way because I started paying attention too late.

Such is my bike ride.

Such is my life.