D is for Dirt. D is for Delight. D is for “get Dirty”. D is for Drop. D is for Dig. D is for Dusk. D is for Desire and Dance and DISCO! It is for Vitamin D. Sunny D. D is for December. D is for…
Remember when we used to play outside until Dark? We got Dirty? We were Delighted in staying out late. We would play in the dirt. Our moms or dads would call us in when the street lights came on. We would moan and begrudgingly head home from our games of kick ball, riding bikes, playing cops and robbers, using walkie talkies, just hangin’ out at the end of the driveway watching the cars go by, or walking the fence like a balance beam. A hot bath or shower would be waiting and then bed time. We were unplugged. No cell phones, maybe a dial up with a long cord for privacy, or heaven forbid a “party line” and our phone numbers started with letters? EM*-****!
I remember learning to ride my bike in the driveway. With Margie. All the neighbors came out. We were so proud. About 5 or 6. Cheers from the parents and various on-lookers. And then we crashed. Into each other. Bloody shins. Scraped knees. Tears. But no training wheels. Band aids and probably a glass of milk to ease the pain and then we were off again. A new sense of freedom. Banana seats with gold bling, cards in the spokes, ape hanger handle bars, bad ass. And again, that sense of being free. A little wobbly at first, but able to hit the neighborhood 7-eleven, the park, the school yard, the lake, even just ride the hill – that seemed so steep – in front of the house – after school, before dinner. Cones were set up for the obstacle course to practice our mad bike skills. Riding on the grass, or gravel, or pavement. Through puddles, up hills, dodging cars, and cats and dogs…and then we grew up. Jobs, college, marriages, kids, responsibilities, life. Biking was just a thing of the past. Carefree, fun, something kids got to do. A distant memory.
Fast forward. 20+ years. Our story begins. Life reinvented. Version 2.0. The re-introduction of the bike. A boy. A girl. Balancing life’s responsibilities. Jobs. Parenthood. Catching trains. Meeting deadlines and schedules. Being “grown up”. But, the bike. Wobbly knees-again-and dirt and helmets and trees and trails, oh my. And mud puddles and rain and the wind in your hair and, and, and…
Playing outside. Nothing else mattered(s). The trials of the day become the trails of the evening. And we ride. We Dig. We laugh. We build berms, huck drops. We challenge each other and ourselves. We let go of the brakes. We FLY. We are young and wild and free (lyrics from Bryan Adams or Snoop Dog depending on your musical genre) and taking risks. Because, if we don’t, we might lose ourselves and our sanity in the day to day. And that’s not okay. We search for balance and flow – synonymous if you ask me – in our quest to be centered. In the moment. In the zone. We are one. With the bike. In mind, body, and spirit. And life is good.
This time of year, of shorter days, longer nights, more rain than sunshine, we, especially in the Pacific Northwest are Vitamin “D”-ficient. There is even a name for it. SAD. Seasonal Affect Disorder. And, while the sun may not be shining and the skies may be gray and full of wet, remember, there is no off season! Find your own D supplement! Get outside. Get dirty. Hit those Drops! Pick your line. Dig Deep. And then go even Deeper. Don’t settle for the tip of the ice berg. Search inside yourself. Because beneath the Duff, the organic Decor of moss and fern and frond there is a mine of gold. Waiting. For your true essence to be Discovered. To be free. To live.
Biking isn’t just for kids, but I guarantee you will feel like one.
D is for “Do it”. It is for getting Dirty and being Delighted with riding through mud puddles. It is for the Drop you are going to conquer and the Digging you are going to Do – even in the Dark, to make that Drop or berm or Drainage even better. It is for December and riding anyway. It is for Drinking good beer. It is for coming home after the street lights come on and it is Dark. It is for the shower and hot Dinner that are waiting you. It is for unplugging and being in that Divine moment. It is for Desire and our need to Dance through technical sections.
Sure, we might crash and maybe need more than a band aid or two. A glass of milk might be traded in for a cold IPA or a swig of Fireball, and our bling is a bit more high tech than a card in the spokes, but that sense of freedom is there. Riding on a trail, at the bike park, on gravel, or even road. Through puddles, up hills, Darting amongst the trees, flying…and we are grown up. Jobs, college, marriages, kids, responsibilities, life. Biking is our present! Our Vitamin D. It cures all that ails you. Carefree, fun, something we get to DO! So get outside and Do it!
See you on the trails!