Cold October rain. Water trickling into your eyes, soaking your wool jersey, drenching your hair.
Water falling from the sky, dripping from the trees, splashing up from the road as your wheels glide by. No distraction: balance the bike, pedal smoothly, keep going, concentrate. On your bike, you have to have the courage to look fatigue straight in the eye, let it enter your head, allow it to nest in your heart and become your friend. It must become part of you. You cannot beat fatigue; you can only try to keep it under control. All you can do when you’re cycling is learn to measure your effort, listen to your body; the heartbeat that accelerates until it’s hammering your temples before settling down again, the changes in your breathing, the muscles that tense and release, speeding up, slowing down, recovering. You cycle with your head more than your legs. If you learn to do it right, you will be free. Free from fear, free to dare, free to dream, free to live. Because fatigue is a quality with which to measure life, it is a bridge to finding yourself, and only those who learn to cross that bridge know what it means to be born again. No shortcuts: the road, your bike, fatigue. Cycling, straight ahead: the fatigue is never wasted, the finish line, whatever the objective, is inside you.
Monday, 29 January 2018