Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's not always about the miles...

There's a certain aspirational component to athletic pursuits. It's the addiction of achievement... "Hey, Mike, you biked 500 miles last month! Awesome!" Ok fine, but look at that guy. He cycled from Europe to Nepal, summited Everest, and then biked home. I wanna do that.

"Everyday adventurers", those of us with big dreams (but also kids, dogs, and a stack of bills in the desk drawer) gotta remind ourselves sometimes... it's not always about the miles.

Sometimes it's about overcoming small adversities together. Three years ago, my son and I did a 3-day bike/camp adventure on the Iron Horse Trail. We battled flat tires and mosquitoes, our trailer broke, and he cursed me the entire time. But later - almost two years later - we were driving and could see the trail from our car. He looked out the window, pointed up to the mountainside and said, "Remember our bike ride? We should do that again." You're right, Josh, we should. How's June looking for you?

It's definitely about memories like this. A warm summer evening, my daughter's first pedals without training wheels. Payton's a tough kid. But at this moment, she asked me not to let go until she was ready. Someday I'll have to let go of her again, and I will be the one who's not ready. We never want our kids to fall down... but they'll always remember times like this and know that Dad is waiting with a band-aid. Or, as I've been encouraging Payton lately, to "throw some dirt on it and get back on."

It's not always about two hours on the trainer, hill repeats, or 200-mile rides. Sometimes three miles is plenty. Like this sunny afternoon my girls and I biked down to the library, had a quick picnic on the lawn, and turned right back around for home. Beautiful.

A tough day on the bike is character-building. We all know that. Just don't forget to make time for the easy days. Your character (and your kids) will thank you.

Happy Valentine's Day to the real loves of my life... Lisa, Josh, Mackenzie, Payton, and (might as well throw the dogs in here) Charlie and Polly.


Lisa Hahn said...


Eileen said...

So true. It is not the miles, it is the memories. Beautifully written.