Saturday, July 18, 2009

the grand experiment

one could look at all life experiences as experiments.
we never truly know what an outcome will be until it occurs, as much as we might hope to predict such things.
364 days ago I undertook a grand experiment: I started this blog and committed to writing and posting something each day, whether it be significant or meaningful or silly or just a tease for a future posting. and I followed through on this commitment. (in the interest of complete truthfulness, there were 2 days I did not post an entry, and at least half a dozen postings were prepared ahead of time and electronically posted on the scheduled day.)
this has been a labor of love, and a job.
I have taken it seriously and been fully committed to actualizing my pledge. it was never a commitment to you, dear reader, but just to myself. deep in my soul I am a writer, one who is fulfilled by creating, by putting pen to paper and words on a computer screen. this has been my exercise, my work, my way to discipline myself to practice the craft I say I love and need.

I started riding my bike regularly 3 years ago, in an effort to improve my health, lose some jiggly fat, and create a pattern in my life that would move me into and through the aging process with some grace and ease. I want to keep participating in life here on earth for a long time, and I saw cycling as something I could add to my life to keep me healthy and fit during as much of that journey as possible.
as part of my cycling commitment, I took a course to help teach, train, and strengthen me, and then the rest has been actually getting out there and doing it. exploring new routes and experiences, riding regularly, continuing to learn more about my bike (eek! maintenance!), and studying what better cyclists do so that I can incorporate new skills into my repertoire.

I started the tao of cycling a year ago, in an effort to improve my writing skills and share the thrill of my experiences with anyone who cared to read about them. it has been a lark, a treat, a grind, a drudgery, and everything in between and around those widespread pillars. it's given me an opportunity to document where I've been, what I've seen, the rides I've ridden and the feelings I've experienced. it has helped me connect with others, and has, at times, helped others validate their own experiences.
liz johnson was my inspiration, and although this weblog may have come to be without her, I will always give her complete credit for making it come to life last july. she stirred the passion within me, and gave me courage and belief in my creative abilities. we never spoke of a weblog, but it all came to be because of liz. she knows this, I know, and it's probably not the least bit coincidental that I rode through her favorite spot on earth this morning.
liz loved storm mountain, up big cottonwood canyon, and as I rode through that area this morning I thought of her visiting this vital and magnificent spot. she drew strength from the mountain, from the earth, from the skies and creatures that claim this niche as home.
but it wasn't until I sat down to write this afternoon that I connected today's ride with liz and the birth of the tao of cycling.

there are no accidents, they say.

tao means path or way. cycling has caused my life to move in a very definite path, one replete with beauty and riches and incredible experiences. and my way is so very blessed and full of opportunities to gain wisdom. I have loved having an opportunity to share all of this with you, and if I can impact even one life in a meaningful way for one moment, I have made a difference.
just as I have been enriched by riding that bi-wheeled machine I love, I hope to share some of that wisdom with anyone who is open to receiving it, and enrich other lives as well.

the grand experiment has reached a milestone.
and although technically it's only the milestone marked "one", it feels an awful lot like I've just completed a century.
so I'm giving myself a "100," and just to celebrate, I think I'll go tackle a new mountain tomorrow.

see you on mt. nebo.

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