In September, 2oo4, I started doing a time trial route on my bicycle, 23.4 kilometres of rolling rural scenery on Fruit Ridge Line. The journey comes complete with a winery, whose delights I haven’t sampled on the way. After all, gotta stay vertical on Ta-pocketa, my red and yellow road bike with the skinny tires.
I declared at one point that I would do my route 100 times. Today was the day I achieved this. I set out in the morning with a light heart. I was doing what I said I’d do. It was a hot ride, with some good headwind on the way home, and I pulled into the driveway in 1:02:19. A warm something covered me as I sat at a table in the sun, gulping down my Gatorade. I’d done it, and that’s a good thing, right?
Yes, it was a good thing. Achievement has a valid place in my life. I need to honour the consciousness that values moving from some type of deficit to fulfillment. The world thoroughly believes in this process, and why should I, a nice little Buddhist guy, poo poo the whole thing? I like the effort I’ve put into getting faster and stronger. I like the muscle burn. I like puffing up the hills.
There is another space, however, where doing well, getting better and pushing harder is irrelevant. Not that it’s bad, but just not needed. What is in the moment is just perfect, however it turns out. Through much of my adult, bookreading life, I’ve strived for the big nirvanas, the beauty of the formless world rather than the one filled with people, places and things. I’ve wanted Spirit to cast aside my thoughts, feelings and body sensations from their central position.
I’m starting to see that the realms of being and becoming are both fine spots to be. The eternal present and the movement towards a destination can live together in me. One hundred trips? Both meaningful and meaningless. I like both.
The last time I broke an hour for my time trial was on June 13, 2009. I know there’ll be a day in August or September when I go under 1:00:00 again. I’ll stay open to both celebration and “just another moment, like any other”. My life is richer in the embracing of each.