: Alone :

I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel-

For the past two years in late August, I bike for nearly ten hours, one hundred plus miles, into the picturesque countryside around Omaha, Nebraska.. Out here, I don’t have a laptop, a navigation gadget, or anyone to talk to. It’s just me and my bike, and a few Western Meadowlarks greeting me kindly.

The first twenty miles are the hardest. I’m on an adrenaline high at first, I wake early and start riding East, where the brilliant glow of a sunrise brings a smile to my tired face. The air is clear on these desolate gravel roads, there is no sound of traffic, yet suddenly – I start to feel lonesome. I feel an urge to text a picture of what I am witnessing to someone, and when I realize I can’t, my phone is resting at home in the garage, a feeling  of anxiety pours over me. I can’t turn back now as I turn south into a gentle breeze, so I begin to listen to my thoughts; I go over the events of the week, honoring my thoughts makes me feel less stirred up. Something surprising happens mid-ride, I feel a sense of peace. There is no particular switch that is flipped, I recall thinking at the time: I’m alone, and I’m happy.

Rarely do I get lonely riding anymore. I have loved ones and friends in my life whom I deeply cherish and value, yet, I don’t feel the need to be with them constantly. While it’s wonderful to go on a weekly group ride, I also happily wave so long to them when they turn around to head home, and I continue on  My time, this tender moment, is completely my own again.

I don’t partake in these grueling rides to prove anything. I’m out there, because I have fully surrendered to the power of solitude. It has taught me so much about myself. Most importantly, there’s no one to share opinions with, about who I am or what I’m doing. I don’t have a FaceTube status to update, nor do I have a future conversation with someone sloshing between my ears. What hits home the hardest is when I hit the 100+ mile marker, when I’m alone this much on a bike – man and machine, I can’t turn my back and avoid the problems in my life or allow a stray emotion to weigh me down. I can’t distract myself by blogging  or surfing the net. What shines through, is the warm glow of my heart.

Time passes differently after 120 miles. I once watched a young doe leap over an eight foot fence from standing; slowing down as she turned to look at me, the sun passed directly overhead during this time, and I didn’t even notice I was heading West. I patiently listen to the wind as I unzip my jersey to cool off as I head home.

Daily Meditation:

The most exhausting part of the ride, is heading home. I have forgotten about the traffic late at night, the stimulation, the nauseating advertisements seemingly everywhere. Sprinklers running, dogs barking, are a jolt to my body … Although friends, the cold shower awaiting me is simply divine.

CultFit Alone

 

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18 Comments on “: Alone :”

  1. Oh… This makes me feel both sad and happy, although I can understand it. I’m ignorant of the temperature in Nebraska – is it very hot? 🙂

  2. So wonderful. I teeter so often from the need to be alone to the need to be with people. I call it the outgoing introvert. I never know when one or the other will strike, and it has ruined more than one relationship for me. My bicycle however cares not either way. Great words as always my friend.

  3. katelon says:

    That is a looooong ride. Glad you enjoy it. I enjoy alone time and used to go camping alone for a week.

    • CultFit says:

      Oddly enough, once i get past the initial 20 or so miles, its just a free flowing ride out in the countryside. Half the time I don’t realize how far I have gone until I get home and think out-loud – “I stopped for a snack just east of Columbus, NE … Geez! i really did go for a little ride!”
      And I miss camping, sitting by a cracking fire, sharing stories and enjoying the moment 🙂
      Hope all is well, take care my friend!

  4. Maia says:

    May I just say this is by far the bestest you’ve created… =)))

    There is that tinge of loneliness, isn’t it? When questions slowly trickle between pedal strokes. Wipe something on the cheek – is that a tear or my sweat??
    The scenery gives the wamth in our hearts, nature at its purest… but so is being alone. This is the purest we can be – to be alone yet at peace.

    You gotta be thankful you’re not near me and I can squish you for this beautiful post! 😉

  5. sittingpugs says:

    nor do I have a future conversation with someone sloshing between my ears

    Pure profundity.

  6. I can totally relate to that need to be alone. You describe it so beautifully 🙂

    • CultFit says:

      This post, these humble words and thoughts I share openly with you … I’m smiling now thinking how grateful I am to have your support – Thank you 🙂

  7. bgddyjim says:

    Gotta love that cool shower after a long ride, nice post my friend.

    • CultFit says:

      I’ve been known to run through the sprinkler with our little dude a time or two after a long day riding – Heck! I even ride through sprinklers if the opportunity presents itself 🙂


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