Tag Archives: Gratitude

Got shoes will ride

Have shoes will ride
Bike ride, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “Do not fear going forward slowly, fear only to stand still”. I read it this morning on Fit for a Year’s blog. It was exactly what I needed to read at that moment. So, while my partner (who is on an inspiring journey to health) went out for her 4km morning walk, I pulled on some clothes, my bicycle helmet and my new, as-yet unworn mountain bike shoes to tag along with her.

By the time I reached my partner she was already half-way through her walk and I fear I scared her when I cruised up alongside her on the gravel road. For the next 2km I cruised slowly alongside her as we talked. It felt so good to be back out on my purple monster. My sacroiliac joint seemed to handle the gentle cycling movement well and I arrived home half an hour after I left feeling refreshed, relaxed and positive. I only rode 5km (I did an extra loop while waiting for my partner to walk along a stretch of footpath too narrow to share) but it’s 5km in the right direction.

After my ride I went out to the proverbial coffee with my running friends (I say proverbial because I drank chai tea). They realised I was slipping into depression so staged a well-timed and perfectly executed intervention. There was no heavy talk. Just “what’s going on with your back?” and “are you able to start exercising again?” and then stories about their adventures. I never realised they are off to do their first triathlon on Sunday 16th December; a sprint distance event to boot. They’ve been training hard and are excited. I can’t wait to stand on the sidelines and cheer them on.

I’m learning important lessons through this difficult period. Today’s was about the power of friendship. Tomorrow morning I will be taking a short ride with one of my other running friends. At coffee this morning the girls told me that I should join her as she’s new to cycling and would love company while the rest of the group take off on their harder triathlon training ride. J is even going to stop by my place with her car so that me and my bike can get to the ride (I don’t have a car but am not yet ready to cycle the 10km each way to and from the ride).

Total: 5km cycle, a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart.

A special place

image

I am an All Hallows’ Girl. It’s where my journey to self-actualisation and sporting passion really took off. Ironically, it’s also a girls’ high school with a strong Catholic and feminist foundation.

image

Today I didn’t train. Instead I came to my old school’s annual Past Pupils’ Mass. It’s my first time to the mass and my third visit back to the school from which I graduated in 1996.

image

It never feels odd or uncomfortable to be here at my old alma mater. The women from all generations still embrace me as one of them. It gives me strength and reminds me of the kind of man I want to remain. One who has courage, determination, compassion and love.
These are the attributes the women here learn and carry. It’s something that I also find on the ultra marathon track. And something I value above all else.

Tonight I am going to Lamington National Park to support my running friends and volunteer at the Lamington Classic. Perhaps it’s a way to pay forward what I have today received.

All Hallows’ School was more than a place of education. For me it was a place where I learned that I can do anything, that I love to run and that service to others is a gift that is a privilege to give.

What is your foundation? Who or what inspired your path?