We don’t choose our circumstances but we alone choose our response.
I think I knew that yesterday would have its share of disappointments so I put it as an item on my To-Do list to go get my bike fixed. The tires were run down from not using it for months and although I have a little pump at home, I couldn’t get the tires inflated with it.
Since my tires were so low, I didn’t want to roll the tires on the street and I ended up lifting my bike all the way to the bike shop. My bike is a light carbon fiber model and only weighs a few pounds, but I am totally counting this activity as weight training.
I was so excited to get the air in the tires, I almost attacked the pump. Andrew, the man who works in the bike shop, said he’s never seen anyone pump so fast (I hope that’s a good thing). Regardless, mere minutes after I arrived at the bike shop, my bike was road ready.
So you’re going to do six laps in the park now, Andrew asked me, jokingly, I think.
I think I’ll have to work up to that, I said.
It felt good. The wind on my face, twilight fading, the autumn leaves so bright, the trees appeared to all be in flames, the joggers and walkers scurrying in front of me as though a path opened for me wherever I rode. Even the smell of fresh horse droppings felt like it belonged there.
Six miles later I exited the park and walked my bike back home. I wasn’t prepared with lights and a bell and I didn’t want to ride on the streets at night without them.
All in all, it was a short trip but it allowed me to bank a little excitement, to put a little happy in reserve for whatever would happen later. The elections as a whole is one topic but I think Americans should look at the way they choose their leaders. The current system is extremely divisive, the primary elections pit party members against each other and some wounds just can’t heal in time. And the very idea that there is a popular vote but it doesn’t count, am I the only one who things that’s a preposterous system?
So it was a good thing I’d filled up on good feelings first. The memory of the bike ride stayed with me and nothing could disturb my zen. Every time I came close to losing my cool, I returned to the memory of sailing down North Hill, the cool fall wind filling my jacket, my helmet and my smile and thinking this is what happiness feels like.
Any other biker chicks out here know what I’m talking about?
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