Floyd could see for miles into the distance. The sun was just rising above the horizon and the air had a moist chill that caused his breath to fog ever so slightly when he exhaled. The animals around him were slowly waking to find an intruder in their midst.
As Floyd scanned the horizon he could feel his body reaching a point of perfect harmony. Much as the environment he was in was fresh and in perfect balance so was his body. His muscles were well rested and warming perfectly. His mind was clear and he was already feeling the stress of the week beginning to release.
All of the late work days, stressful meetings, short deliverables, and fast pace decisions were taking a toll on Floyd. He was beginning to feel every one of his 41 years. Moments like this were what kept him feeling alive and absorbed some of the weeks mental toll.
As he came upon a bend in the road Floyd could see his first big challenge, a steep rise about 100 yards ahead. This was a challenge he was ready for, his mind knew exactly what to do. The transition happened almost without thought, something his body longed for and felt at easy doing. A shift of weight, a change in force, a few adjustments and he was sailing upward with ease.
Breathing heavier now Floyd felt his body digging in and sapping a bit of energy. He knew this hill wasn’t long but it’s steepness was almost worse than if it had been a slow steady rise, at least for his body type.
Floyd had always been a big guy his entire life. He’d worked for years to lose weight and with some initial success he’d lost a lot but gained some back. The times he let the weekly stresses get in the way of his outlets contributed to that gain. Most people would look at him passing by and wonder why or how someone with his body type was doing it? They were certain that something would break or perhaps he’d topple over at any moment. But, he’d defy their preconceived ideas of what “being fit” meant and push onward ever stronger and motivated.
Cresting the hill he relaxed a bit, shifted up a bit to give his legs a rest and smiled from ear to ear. “Damn this felt great” he said to no one in particular. He was happy he’d chosen not to go too high tech with carbon and had instead chosen titanium for his frame. Under the load of climbing not only was his frame perfectly responsive to someone his size but his confidence, which is certainly more important, was high. It’s not about the bike right?
Shifting into the big ring in the front be began accelerating and preparing for a fast straight decent ahead. His weight was in the middle, he was spinning smooth even circles, and was dropping gear after gear in his rear cassette before finally ending in the smallest cog, his largest gearing ratio. He was speeding at close to 45 mph and still had room for a more, he felt in complete control. The decent was straight, the road was smooth and clean and there wasn’t a car or another person in sight.
He was in the zone now. Smooth even circles … no jitter or mashing on the pedals. Smooth even circles. Tucked and in the drops he must have been quite the sight, close to 300 pounds speeding down the road on a 15 pound titanium steed at 45 mph.
As Floyd reached the bottom of the hill he scanned ahead for his next challenge. It was a nearly flat road for miles ahead. There were slight undulations here and there thrown in every so often to remind your legs to stay ready for anything. It was the kind of road perfect for clearing his mind and just thinking about the things that mattered in life. The things that made him smile and happy to be alive.
That stressful week Floyd was seeking to release was the furthest thing from that strip of asphalt road right then. It was instead replaced by a zen like physical and mental state. His muscles were in a steady state of lactic acid buildup and release. His legs were spinning the smooth even circles he’d trained so hard to attain over the winter. Hours spent on his basement trainer trying to teach his body to find that pedaling balance. That zone where you’re not wasting energy mashing and feel in complete control of the energy potential of your body and bike.
Smooth even circles, an outlet which Floyd thought was ideal for all of life’s challenges and curveballs.
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