By Christopher Cudworth
If you have not figured it out yet, it is movement that draws you to the road. To the trail. Down hills. Up hills. Through fields. Woods. Dreams. Keep moving.
As you move through the woods on a run or ride, trees meld into a fauvism of color and shapes. You put fixed thoughts behind you. The mind opens up. Sky blue or cloud gray comes down to greet you. You are moving. Alive. Spirited on in your own good way.
You are moving through time. Do you realize it? Time is a fixed object, each moment both an obstacle and a door. That makes it hard to move some days. Easier to escape on others. Then you get on a roll and all your runs and rides meld together. You are a painter with a wide canvas, choosing colors and shapes and brushes as you go. The world paints back, coating you with sweat or rain, snow or sleet, sun or invisible bits of pollen, dust and dirt. You shower off and begin again. A fresh palette.
On the bike on a clear summer day you look down and see the shining skin on your thighs. You are neither male nor female at the time. You are a cyclist. You ride. Not like the wind, but through it. With it. Against it. Beside it. Wind is movement. So are you.
And running. For all those body parts it is your feet that know the earth most intimately. You can lie naked and roll around and never know with the rest of your body what your feet already know. Hard earned knowledge. How to adjust to small hummocks. How to paw at dirt and trail and road for miles on end. Take the pounding and roll with it. Your feet take a lot, and they give back all those miles. You should thank your feet for movement. The rest of you. Moves with them.
You have figured some things out as you run and you ride. How your mind works. What it likes to do on the move. Where thoughts come from. Some arrive like birds, fluttering until you reach up and cup them, turn them around and see how they’re made. Birds. Thoughts.
Other thoughts cover your face like spiderwebs laced with a dark core of worry in the center. You wipe them away and keep running. Shake your hands and arms, or stand up in the saddle and pedal the hill until the worry is tugged away by movement. Solutions emanate from will, and will comes from effort. Sometimes you define it. Sometimes it defines you.
You move from race to race and event to event asking “Why? Why do I do this?” The answers come from the faces of others who join you in that search for tangible thoughts and the will that goes with it. Their faces pull you along. Group rides. Long runs. Track workouts.
Then Coffee shops. Parking lots. Bars and restaurants. These are your peers. Your effort companions. Sometimes the only people you really seem to trust are those that keep moving like you. It seems like they know something too. Something you need to know.
Movement. The running movement. The cycling movement. You can feel it. Some take it to the pool as well. Then the lake as swell. Always there are challenges to keep moving. Moving. Moving. Do you hear an echo? It is your thoughts and your mind. Reckoning with movement. Giving it a name. Mile. Marathon. Half marathon. 10K. 5K. 25K. Ultramarathon. Triathlon. Sprint triathlon. Olympic. Ironman.
Following movement comes rest. Recovery. Letting your thoughts meld in a different way. You have moved through the day in a hundred ways. Now it is time to rest. And dream about moving some more. Life is a moving experience.