If you want to write, write.
If you want to ride, ride.
It wasn’t supposed to rain.
That’s not what my phone said when I asked the guys if they wanted to go for a ride.
The phone lied.
We left the shop and entered a light drizzle.
The closer we got to the coast, the more it rained.
What the hell was I thinking? This is 50k. In the wet. I’m going to be cold. I’m going to be chaffed. What the hell was I thinking?
I hadn’t been on a ride that long on gravel in a long time.
Zeke and Barry made trails together and would blast away on epic mountain bike adventures where they would ride all day. George ate up kilometers on his bike. Rohan? Well, Rohan was a bit of a horse. Though he hadn’t been riding in a long time, going fast was muscle memory to him. He caught wind of the salt air and bolted.
At first the pace was punishing - especially along the highway as we rolled out of town. The cars were too fast, many and close for my comfort. The rain made everything hard to see through. My shoulders tensed, bristling against the environmental insult to my comfort.
Once up on the other side of the air base, I slowed down to a mildly peddled middle aged crawl. I call it geriatric granddad speed. I realize that it is cruel to mock the aged. And I’m going to do it anyway because I imagined who was riding that bike and it didn’t look like me. It looked like some old guy with a grey moustache had taken over. I looked like an young man trapped in an old dude’s body.
But it wasn’t that. I was just an old man struggling to keep up. George took pity on me.
“I’m older than you dude” asserted George, “Five years older bro. I just ride every day. If you rode everyday, you’d keep up. It wouldn’t take long.”
I felt comfortable setting a slow pace. We spun on together for the next five kilometers. We shared stories the whole way.
“Geeze George, you should write a book,” I exclaimed.
“You know what? I should, I just don’t think I have time.”
“You have the time. You ride everyday.”
“Yeah, well, you write everyday.”
“That’s why I almost have a book. Consistency. It’s magic.”
“Well, I still don’t have the time.”
“It’s a matter of making the time. Other things fall away. We have all the time we need. It’s just a matter of paying attention to how we choose to use it. You’re in great shape because you spent the winter out riding. I’m dragging my ass here because I spent the winter writing a book. Time. What are you going to do with it?”
If you have a dream, goal or desire, it’s easy to make excuses as to ‘why’ we can’t do something. Time is frequently a factor.
Extraordinary people didn’t start out extraordinary. They make extra-ordinary choices.
And sometimes that works.
And sometimes it’s a good idea to have a bail out plan.
It’s like the old saying goes:
If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving is not for you.