a little story
60 miles into a 100 mile cycle event, I caught site of him again. He was on a steel framed bike, heavy by contrast to the ultra light carbon bikes he was keeping pace with. But what shone from his body wasn’t simply his mastery of the bike under him and the gears on it that you could count with one hand (compared to the 15 or so gears on the carbon bikes). It wasn’t even his sandaled feet and lack of a helmet. It was his energy, his smile, his pure enjoyment of being out of a bike, being free, sharing the experience and … the glide. Yes, a glide: a grace and rhythm that seemed effortless, that looked as if it could go on forever.
This reminded me of tales I had read about of endurance runners winning ultra marathons (of 50+ miles) not because of their equipment, but more precisely because of their technique, their finesse … and above all, their energy evident in the smiles on their faces and their bodies. Yes, their bodies exuded something mysterious, something magical with each step. Was it confidence? Was it experience? Or was it simply surrender … to something greater: what was this?
This greatness, this grace in motion, this glide reveals something unique that flows through us. Its life, its vitality, its health, its an elusive treasure. Sometimes we have it, then we lose it, or it is stolen, or we simply need to go on a quest to find it.
This summer I am on a quest to recover my health – from the effects of bullying in my past that still trouble me now and can sometimes cripple me completely physically. So I shall be training both my body and mind to find the grace of the rider i saw last year mentioned above. And i’ll be sharing on this blog advice and insights i learn as i train.
Here is a link to the events i shall be doing
Amesbury Amble Audax – 309km and 2600m of climbing – Sat 14th April
Tour de Yorkshire – 129 km and 2059m of climbing – Sun 6th May
Fred Whitton Challenge – 178km miles and 3,285m of climbing in the Lake District – Sun 13th May
Bryan Chapman Memorial – Welsh End to End – 600km and 7500m of climbing – Sat 19th May
Ditchling Devil – London to Brighton and back – 205km and 2400m climbing – Sun 3rd June
Vätternrundan – Lake Vattern in Sweden – 300km and 1945km of climbing – Fri 15th June
London 100 – 161km and 1330m climbing in Surrey – Sun 29th July