Friday, July 8, 2011
Endorphins are a good thing
The sky was spectacular yesterday, full of thick, textured clouds streaming with crepuscular rays. I was sweating and cursing the heat (which actually was not that bad), riding my bike hard mid-afternoon. It was a beautiful summer afternoon.
A few weeks ago I decided I didn't need to prove to myself that I'm strong or tough or whatever; I decided I could instead ride my bike in the morning, before the heat of the day gathers itself together. I told myself that riding before it was heinous out there was a kindness I might offer myself.
But what I've discovered is: I actually LIKE the punishing heat, the sweating. I like cursing Brother Sun, pouring cold water over my head. Becoming a big ole sweaty mess, as I do on these rides, then cooling off a bit, drinking cool water, taking a cool shower, drinking an ice cold beer? This sequence of events makes me just plain happy. It doesn't work if I take that same ride at 10 a.m. Who wants to have a beer that early in the day? I don't.
I must remember that the Tao of Goldilocks truly is the life lesson I need most to learn, over and over again. I don't have to be mean to myself on these bike rides, i.e. I don't have to push myself until I feel literally sick (as I sometimes have in the past). That's too hard. Nor do I need to restrict myself to riding before the big heat of the day - that's too soft. What is just right is a rather fierce bike ride mid-day after which: cool, more cool, some more cool, then ice cold. Oh yeah.
There is an aggressive side to my nature, connected no doubt to my Venus/Mars in Aries. This is who I am, along with the parts of me that are gentle, philosophical, funny, artful. I had a teacher who used to say that unexpressed aspects of ourselves create a state of depression. Aggressiveness must be expressed mindfully. The big ole sweaty bike ride is one of the ways I express my nature. It harms no one. It is neither too hard nor too soft, too hot nor too cold, etc. This is the Tao of Goldilocks. So be it!
Happy weekend, y'all. Shalom.