My husband and I have been bicycling fools.
It’s true. With over 550 bicycle miles in so far this season, we’ve spent many an evening and weekend on our cobalt blue bicycle built for two training for our annual ride on RAGBRAI. This week-long ride across the state of Iowa happens every July, and we’re a couple weeks short of its arrival. We have 250 more miles to go to reach our pre-RAGBRAI goal.
July will be a month full of bicycling.
Let me tell you, training can become monotonous. It can get dull and boring at this point. Two weeks ago I hit a wall. (Not literally, thank goodness.) I wanted to quit. I was tired of taking the same trails, hitting the same amount of miles, seeing the same things with each trip out. No, I didn’t say anything to my husband, but I’m assuming he was just as tired of it as I was.
It was time to make a decision. I could either dread the training, or I could change my attitude and choose a different perspective. I could either grind through the peddling, or I could choose to enjoy the ride. For the record, enjoying the ride is a whole lot more fun.
I shifted my thinking by reminding myself why I bicycle with my husband. Thankfulness bubbled up as my mind took me to places that scared me… places of what life would be like without Bill by my side. God could have taken Bill home when he got hit by that car four years ago. I’m selfishly thankful He didn’t.
I ride because I love my husband.
I thought of every single (and sore) muscle, bone, ligament, and part of my body I’m not even aware of that allows me to climb on and ride that bicycle. And, I thanked God for each one. I recalled numerous special moments and scenes we’ve experienced on that tandem together… that wouldn’t have happened anywhere else.
Bicycling helps us stay (or become) physically strong, and it’s a great opportunity for my husband and I to have some of the best conversations as we peddle. Together.
As strange as it may read, bicycling has changed our marriage. No doubt about it.
This bicycling thing is a gift.
Making a few adjustments and changing things up made our rides more fresh and exciting. We rode an organized ride and biked with friends. We also traveled to another state to ride its trails to completely shake up the scenery and cross another state off of our #50statestandembicycletour list.
And, we gave ourselves permission to enjoy the ride.
We can do the same thing in life, can’t we?
Just like with bicycling, life can get monotonous if we allow it to. Day after day, week after week. Grinding along. Slipping into a rut. Our joy leaves us and hope follows.
But, we don’t have to stay there. We can give ourselves permission to look at life differently. To allow thankfulness to fill our hearts, as well as our days, as we intentionally recall the many gifts in which God has blessed us. We can remind ourselves of why we do what we do and whom we do it for.
It may take a shift in perspective, and a shake up in our routine, but doing so every now and then helps us enjoy the ride we’re on. It’s the only one we get on this earth, so let’s make it count.
Give yourself permission to enjoy the ride.
I’d say it’s a good day to do so.
What is one thing you can do today to enjoy the ride you’re on? Change your perspective? Change your scenery? Let’s do it.
I’m glad we get to journey together, my friend.
Linking this post with my friend Suzie.
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