Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Perfect Moment

I rode off today with a nebulous goal of riding to the top of Mt. Tabor 8 times. I had done 6 times before on Christmas Eve and I had figured out before leaving that 8 times was about a 34 mile ride so I thought, "If I can do it, I'll do it."

In the same way that the first couple of hours fly by when you are on an 8-hour car trip, the first two times up the mountain flew by. I was happily listening to my riding mix on my ipod, rockin' out to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Freestylers. I was having a great ride and was still keeping that distant goal of 8 times alive.

And then, my third time up the hill I was listening to Everything That Happens by David Byrne and Brian Eno and my thoughts turned to my client that had to put his dog to sleep a few weeks ago. Right with that came thought of my other client who will likely have to put her dog to sleep in the next few weeks. I think sometimes recognizing how really hard life can get prepares you for the appreciation of how wonderful it can be. For some reason, I looked down and saw my shadow and choked back a sob because I realized I was having a truly perfect moment. It was that brilliant way the mind can think of ten things in the space of one breath and all at once I knew that there was nowhere on the planet I would rather be than right there on that mountain, climbing up the steep side, listening to David Byrne sing. In that one sob I felt so lucky to be alive and healthy with a healthy husband and healthy pets.

David Byrne then sings "Everything that happens happens today." I can't help but think about all the people that are putting there dogs to sleep today. This leads me to think about all the people that are dying today...born today...getting new puppies. I could go on. I wonder how many people just had a perfect moment at that exact moment I saw my shadow and had my perfect moment?

Not much could top that feeling and when the song One Fine Day comes on I couldn't be happier. I fly up the hill three more times. This is now uncharted territory. I check in with my body. Back feels good, knees feel good. I've got water left and I ate half a peanut butter and apricot jam sandwich as I rode around the top after my 4th and 5th ascents. I can do it, I decide and I head back down the hill.

The 7th time up the Lincoln side feels hard. I have to switch to an easier gear and I get passed by a couple of road bikers. I love this feeling though...pushing myself when it gets a little tough. I make it to the top and head down the Salmon side for my last trip.

Now, I'm giddy. The endorphin high has kicked in and mixed with a joyous satisfaction at doing something hard that I've never done before. I don't know where my tired legs went because I am flying up the hill. About 2/3rds of the way up the hill my grin has gotten so wide that it has turned into a full belly laugh and people can't help but look at me and smile. I get to the top in record time and rejoice in my accomplishment. As I descend down the mountain for the last time Led Zepelin's Immigrant Song comes on as if celebrating right along with me.

Just as I get to the bottom, my riding mix ends. In no great hurry, I coast most of the way home reveling in my cycling glow.

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