Wednesday, September 10, 2008

rainy day story

this morning's ride was rained out.
which hasn't happened in so long that I didn't know what to do: go back to sleep, go to the gym to work out, make coffee and read a book . . . the latter won, today.
but I am not giving up: I sit here in my biking clothes for the second time today, waiting for the sky to clear so that I can go ride. I've showered, made lunches, took my girls to school, got my son to the doctor for cast-removal, brought him home so he could finally have a thorough shower, took him to school, accomplished some work, and here I am, typing this as I wonder whether or not I'll be able to ride today.
I may be wondering for a while.

since it's a rainy day, though, it's perfect for a story, and I believe I have a good one.
a friend told me about his experience at an AA meeting last night, and gave me permission to share this, so settle in and I will try to keep it brief.
a young woman was receiving a 60-day sobriety chip, and told a story about something that happened over the weekend. her husband was riding his bike in an all-day race, and she was providing his support, meeting him at the rest stops. (my friend is listening to this, knowing that it was lotoja, and that he was there, too.) he started off well, but as the day went by he slowed, and at each rest stop he seemed to be further behind than before. she was worried about him, but kept cheering him on, helping him refuel and get back out there for the next leg of the ride. he kept riding, but by the time he got close to jackson it was very dark, and she was driving her car behind him with her flashers on, providing light for him and protecting him from motorists who might not see him.
he finished the ride.
and when the two of them talked about it afterward, she told him how much she wanted to do something for him, to help him, to make it easier for him to finish this long and painful ride.
he looked at her (okay, that's me giving you a little drama) and told her that this is exactly how he feels about her sobriety: it is difficult, it is a struggle, and it goes on forever, and no one can do it but her. as much as he wants to help, he knows he cannot do it for her. it's her ride, and no one can pedal those wheels around except her.

last saturday morning a cyclist behind me said "biking is a metaphor for life." perhaps any activity could be linked with life in similarly metaphorical ways, but I am constantly amazed at how many metaphors and analogies leap to mind when I compare biking and examples of human life.

lotoja does many things for many people: obviously we who compete in or ride this race have a purpose of some kind in doing so. but we also each have our own stories, and create new stories, connections, and significant discoveries during this event. the story of this young woman and her husband is now a part of my lotoja experience, and I hope it is one that stays alive for them, strengthening and connecting them as they ride down life's road together.

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