The beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest

What is my freedom worth? “The length of road that I can imagine before me with the wind in my face”.

In front of me: nothing. It rained the day before and I hear the whistle as my socks are spattered by the spray from the wheels. And so the road guides me through its perfumes and my own thoughts. The same thoughts that torment and trap you when you’re sitting at your desk.

In my solitary escape, I leave them behind me, behind the oaks and the rows of vines standing to attention like soldiers.

So it’s just me and my bicycle, wearing my best gear and with my soul ready to be filled with life from the surrounding nature. I increase my pace, the sun is high already and now I can begin my race: I can’t lose.

The bicycle and me, joined together, we are a strange shapeless being. We seem to be the only living thing in the landscape that I had never seen or experienced so empty before. So, I believe in myself and distance the part of me that would have given up. And after the second bend in the road, she’s already gone. Riding between gravel and sky, I feel crystalised in an unreal, almost metaphysical, mobility, where I can hear others but I can close my eyes and hope that everything really does depend on me. After the constraints of the past months, I have learned that limits are not deprivation. They are simply alternative roads on which to ride with care.

Now, here I am at the finish line, sure that it took less time than I expected. So? Have I really won? Yes, I have. I won against the human being I was before, from whom I keep a safe distance, because the only thing I’m afraid of infecting me is the superficiality of believing that the creator of such a spectacular world can protect us from our own levity.

I will ride again, I will continue to conquer my limits and better myself.

The bicycle will be my accomplice and every time, I will be happy simply to be alive.

Cristina Rauso