Saturday, August 4, 2012
The third workout isn't really a workout at all, it's more of a playout. After this morning's 90 minute focus-fest, and an afternoon 5K recovery run in the glorious sun, the third was what one might call an un-workout.
As in it being about slow. Like, as slow as you can. PAINFULLY SLOW. Trackstand slow. Balance, breathing, feeling as aware as the grazing geese.
After this evening's delightful curried sweet potato and tofu, I set out for a couple of laps with Trixie. I think she misses me. She is quintessentially nonjudgmental, accepting me for the hack rider I am. She is tolerant of my views and appreciative of my few good traits, staggeringly outnumbered by my not-so-good. She likes me for who I am, not whom I might become. I sometimes think she wishes I was Wiggo or Fabiano or Lance, but as soon as we put our parts together, my motor and her drive chain, the magic quickly chases that displacement away. It's good harmony. House groove with overtones of quirk. We like it. We are happy together. We bust some stress and enjoy the ride.
And we desire to make it last. We have the want to enjoy, to share, to merge and laugh. And that is why we practice the slow. The objective is to circle the pond as slow as we can go. It is a struggle. It is out of the comfort zone of speed. There is an obvious dearth of power. Yet the focus required, the presence, the ability to sustain a equilibrium, balanced by awe, propels our anti-fast, totally exhilarating direct drive ride. Or maybe it's the letting go, the vacuum created in the absence of the relentless pursuit of more.
It was still 80 plus degrees tonight as we circled the calm blue water six times. I thought about cortisone, inflammation, geometry, deep breathing, the aging process, anger, New York, fear, hatred, society, hypocrisy, joy, love, laughter and my place in all this chaos. I remembered what Rob said after class this morning. About life being funny.
I started to laugh. It IS funny. The joke is on us (or maybe just me) Can we calm down folks? I know times are tough. But it won't help any by pointing fingers, blame or guns at people who might have an alternative point of view. I believe that the purpose of life is to realize our capacity for joy and fully explore our self-awareness and love. There are many ways to get there. Equally as many paths. I don't care which you choose. I grant you that freedom. Please don't judge me by mine.
Because at the pace of my last workout, this may take some time.
Pix: Top: University of Washington campus. The W can symbolize many things. Bot: The shadow of slow.