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Pedal Power

He rockets up the steep incline the way a ski racer relishes the decline. A big guy passing the pack on the uphill is a new experience for me to see. Even with the commuter, cross-country and competitive cycling miles under my belt, I’ve never witnessed such a sight. So I get on my horse, huff and puff enough to get the right stuff and finally get up to snuff. It is miles down the road before I get the opportunity to catch that cyclist and offer up my astonishment to him. He smiles a while and says that he likes the feeling of the fire down below, especially when he has to stoke those breathing bellows.
That experience was about a dozen years ago. It was the first time that I had biked with my former Karate student, Mike Johnson. He had gotten a group of Pan Mass Challenge cyclists together for their annual Plimouth to Ptown ride. They use that route as their last long ride prior to the PMC. I had not been riding much over the previous decade and appreciated the push to get back to the cycle with some proven people of the pedal. Since then, MJ and I have grown the type of friendship that grown-ups are capable of, yet few cultivate. We relish and reward each other’s successes and are fully available through the losses. We seem to be able to really listen to each other and respond from the core. Our mutual interests have expanded beyond biking - to hiking, skiing, white-water rafting, kayaking and the blues. Listening to and dancing to the blues has got us through the blues and whew, we’ve enjoyed a whole lot of peak times too.
So when Mike stepped into our classes again here last fall, after a fifteen year hiatus, I wondered as to how it all may fall – hopefully in place. He got the core strengthening, stretching and coordination of our Three Power Yoga classes right away. The Taiji & Qigong classes also appeared to be a great way for him the find his way and The Way. Mr. Johnson often shared his inner experiences that were derived from the calm core breathing, mindfulness and movements. Those deep sensations seemed to be similar to what he had happened upon through his power pedaling. He wondered aloud as to how curious he felt as to what effect the inner work of the movement meditation disciplines may have on his life-long pedaling passion.
Spring has sprung and MJ has begun his fun in the sun that comes with his commitment to the challenge of the Pan Mass fund. As astonished as I had been when I first witnessed his buns booming up those road rises, Mike seems to be equally as elated at his elevation energy entering his enthusiasm that he engineered here from his inner energy experiences. Specifically, he has been able to put in more miles with more speed and less fatigue. His recovery time has been lees of a chore and of minimal sores, especially the knees have been requiring less knead. I guess I had better get up to speed and shift my cool and cold weather outdoor adventures toward shifting those gears, using the rear and conquering the fears that go with seizing the day each day, in every way.
It is wonderful to have friends when in need and in deed. Indeed, alone times somehow feel connected to community and being in community can be comforting to the sole soul. I guess we can be together alone and alone together. Whether this is true for you, you can choose, get through the blues and even experience a halo-do. Power to the people who power pedals. Also, metal medals to meditation meccas that motivate the mainstream masses to manage through the muck and make their own luck.