Note: Thanksgiving Day is a major U.S. holiday. Many of us have four day weekends where we eat too much, watch too much football, shop too much, and shoot a lot of woodland and prairie creatures.
In the old days when I was a teenager — you know, the simple days when dinosaurs roamed etc, and Tipper Gore warned us of the evils of Twisted Sister — my next door neighbor and best friend “Kim” was an avid runner. We were having one of those deep talks that teens have and she told me with great conviction, “Running is everything to me. It’s my daily religion. It’s my addiction. I can’t imagine life without running. If something happened to my legs life would be over. You know what I mean, right?”
I was Kim’s running partner and a talented runner, but no, I had no idea what she talked about. But Kim is my best friend, and she’s very pretty, so of course I nodded with enthusiasm. “Oh yeah, I know exactly what you mean.”
It’s now 25 years later and Kim still runs marathons and charity 10Ks in the Puget Sound area, while I’ve completely given up running. But I now understand what she meant back in 1983, because cycling is my daily meditation, my addiction, my drug. I’ve thought about what would happen if something were to happen to my legs that kept me off of my bike and it’s difficult for me to picture.
I’m thankful that I have the health and physical and mental capability to ride a bike. I’ve thought about all of the accidental and random circumstances that combined to make me enthusiastic about cycling — when I got a Schwinn LeTour for Christmas in 1981 and rode a criterium (in cutoff corduroys) the next summer. Kim (remember, she’s very pretty) started riding a bike — her dad’s white Fuji 10 speed — after a knee injury, so of course I had to ride too. I met enthusiastic cyclists in college and discovered century rides and racing. All of this and more combined to make me the cyclist I am today.
I’m thankful for much more than that, of course. I’m very thankful for my wife and children. I’m thankful I’m gainfully employed, and I’m thankful for a four day weekend. Beyond the material, I’m very thankful for the undefinable spiritual blessings in my life. I’m thankful also for my friends, many of whom I’ve met (both virtually and in the flesh) through this blog and yours. I’m thankful for the wider perspectives the medium of Web 2.0 brings to me.
I really appreciate the feedback and participation of everybody on commutebybike.com. Happy Thanksgiving, all!