This morning we woke up to heavy rain. Ok, fine, computer time it is.
Soon it was noon and I was antsy to get out, but the rain came down heavier. So dark was it outside that we had to have our lights in the house. Two, still inside, three, ditto. Four rolled around and I was feeling a bit, “Oh why bother, I’ll call it a rest day”. But it’s not a rest day, it’s more about just getting out. 4:30, things were cruxy. Settled in my seat, I was being productive, good tunes filled the house, and the thought of that initial soaking of rainwater on my shins was too much to bear. The rain was really coming down. 4:35, guilt. 4:40, Alright, YES, okay, I’m going.
Rolling out the door and onto the street, I was immediately in my element. Outside, on a bike, smelling the fresh air, freedom. I headed to the forest behind our house and on to my favorite singletrack, warmed up a bit and then opened up the throttle for some muddy fun. Pure, 100% joy.
My obligatory long uphill had me thinking what the word “yes” means. Yes, as opposed to No. Go as opposed to Not go. I have long had a rule. Say yes. If it sounds good, say yes.
More often than not, a well thought out yes leads to goodness and rich rewards. No kills opportunity and closes doors and the mind.
1987 – “Do you want to go climbing for your first time?” – Yes.
1989 – “Do you want to go to your first road race?” – Yes
1991 – “Do you want to drop out for a bit and drop into the climbing bum lifestyle?” – Yes
1997 – “Do you want to commercial fish in Alaska?” – Yes (seriously, true.)
1998 – “Can you start shooting some photos of your travels?” – Yes
Photo school? Yes. Do you want to go out for a drink (Janine) – Yes. How about traveling for a couple of years to shoot and grow our business? Yes.
All things which, when looking back have lead to the bullseye I am lucky enough to be living.
Still it continues. On a whim I’ve said yes to some crazy travels and regretted none of it. (By the way, Andreas – yes, I’ll go to Costa Rica for the Mountain Bike Stage Race). For me, yes has been all good but for one time I said yes for the wrong reason – I said yes knowing in my heart it was wrong, I said yes for money over life. I regretted it immensely and for some time was stuck being someone I was not. Luckily there was an out, and to the out I said Yes, adios.
Once at the top of my climb today I knew my descent was going to be a good one. Thanks to the rain, the trail was in perfect shape, the creek crossings deep with rainwater, and I had chosen the smoothest of all the descents. For 15 minutes I surfed my wave, squinting through the mud and pine needles splattering on my face until I was at the bottom and emerged from the forest and onto our street. I hadn’t even noticed how hard it was raining under the forest’s canopy, but once in the open I was getting drenched. The 4 minute ride home was just long enough to let the rainwater give my bike and I a good rinsing.