Thursday, May 27, 2010


yesterday I met a man at the top of emigration canyon.
he came huffing and puffing to the top, in that dangerously slow speed range where one fears they will fall, wobbling a bit back and forth in an effort to stay upright.
he crested the top, picking up a slight bit of speed, then looped once and came to a stop.
I'd seen him earlier. when I passed him he was resting a few kilometers from the top: he was a bit older, and he gave back a hearty "hello" in response to my own.
so when I saw him again at the summit I felt comfortable giving him a cheer, and threw out some words of that ilk, something about how great it was to reach the top.
"pretty good for 83, I'd say," he responded.
"83?" I replied, "wow!"
"yep, well, not actually until july."
I pulled up close to where he'd stopped and I unclipped and stood over my bike. "I want to be you," I said.
"you want to be 83?"

"well, someday, yes, I do," I laughed. "and I want to be riding when I get there."

we chatted for a few minutes, as he told me about his participation in the Utah Senior Games, and the medals he'd won. he asked where I lived, and he told me where he lived and how he makes a 26-mile loop on the ride he was on.

he gave me a peppermint to suck on.
he gave me an even bigger gift: belief.

belief in the life ahead of me, of the years and years still to come.
it's easy to get caught up in the reality of the present day, the issues and challenges and struggles and frustration. to be fully present in the now one must give up an attachment to and a dependence upon the future. and sometimes, just sometimes, it's nice to pull away from being engulfed in the moment and acknowledge that future days will come, bringing new experiences, surprises, and that unpredictability that enriches our lives. I could not have predicted I'd be where (physically, emotionally, career-wise, all of that) I am today, so how can I possibly predict where I'll be in another half dozen years?

I have no idea where I'll be when (hopefully) I reach 83. I have no idea where I'll be when I reach 53. the future is everywhere in front of me and I do not know what it looks like.
I just hope it always has a bike in it.
and a few little rolling hills.
and a tailwind.
and, perhaps, a peppermint or two for me to share with someone I meet at the top of a hill.


gregclimbs said...

there are more years in front of me on the way to 83 than there are behind me.

but like you,

I want to be him someday.


susan said...

I wish us both there someday, though I'll get there first!