Sunday, July 12, 2009

Yin & Yang

A Beautiful Ride and a Dark Ride

On Friday night Big O, SIR Vandy & I hit up our favorite local joint, The Flying Burrito, before the O and I departed for the Ouachitas. Both of us had rough weeks and the funk was heavy but we were determined to shake it off. We jammed out in the Prius and rolled up to Northfork Lake bout 10:30ish where the Blockman & Cookie Monster were waiting on us. The whole ride I kept flipping through songs trying to find the right one to match how I so desperately desired to feel. I finally found what I was looking for when we stopped the car on the side of the road and I stepped out to see the millions of stars above. In that moment I felt a peace that has evaded me recently. I really didn't want to get back in the car but friends were waiting. That night we hung out, philosophized, caught crawfish, and even did a lil dancin under the moon.

Sat morning started off with Kevin dipping his toothbrush in the lake right beside a dead chicken, a wonderful omen to begin the day.

I slept in till 9am and my hammock was perched right along the lake, it was beautiful as was the ride to follow. A Texas native pulled up to the Womble trailhead just as we were getting ready so we took him along for the Epic ride. The trail was superb and I felt great flying over the trail on a steel SS Pegasus. At 298 Chris & Big O peeled off to go get the vehicles and Ryan and I rolled on with Texas close behind. We railed the trails and besides running out of H2O with 7 miles till Fishing Village I felt great. We stopped along the lookout point at Reed MTN and looked out across the vast expanse that spread beneath us, down the bluff a pristine river weaved through rolling mtns of green. Wind came across the valley & mtns to fill our senses as well as our lungs with all pervading prana. It was truly a moment of bliss, the body felt pure & clean. Fishing Village was an oasis with cold H2O, then an epic jaunt up the Northern Womble to Hwy 88 with a quick stop at the infamous rope swing. 30 miles, beautiful ride.
The following day I met Dan Lysk of Ar Cy & Micah Patterson (fastest Beg MTN Biker in The Natural State) @ Camp Robinson for a preview of the CARPe diem XC race course. I rolled from the hizzy on the SS for 45 and was late as is my usual fashion. Not everyone rolls on "Indian Time" so I hit the singletrack in search of my friends. The beginning of the ride went well enough besides the insolubility of rigid SSs and rock gardens. While jamming down Advanced Trig ~15 mph my front tire caught a fat rock and decided to jump off the rim. Stan's goo proceeded to fly followed by myself over the handlebars. The collision was hard but minimal blood. After 10 min of fixing the tire with the dreaded mini handpump and being swarmed by mosquitos we were on the trail again. Within 5 min the tube was punctured and my ride & day had quickly spiraled down deeper into the hole of despair.
I sent my comrades on and began to hike out. After a few miles, I had an epiphany: "I spend so much energy trying to be the best at this or the best at that, always trying to control my environment and my actions. And for what, who cares if I was faster on a given day. Is my insatiable thirst for speed helping people to get into the sport, am I making a difference or am I feeding an addiction?" As I kneeled among the plants I watched the Sun set and the leaves dance in the wind. Everything took on a new beauty that was always there but I been too blind to see. It took a wreck and 2 blown tires to make me slow down enough to notice. So often do I lose myself, be it in med school or my passions. Leaning over to inhale the sweet aroma of the Earth a calm crept over me. How long had it been since I had slowed down long enough to remember how small I am in the great painting.
Kindness soon followed as Dan doubled back after discovering that I had no car at the trailhead. He waited patiently as a monk and was happy to give me a ride home. So often I pull away and isolate myself, it was great to remember what friends are for, to help each other out in times of need. Intellectual & philosophical converstations followed about Indigo Children and I came home with my optimism reinstilled that the evolution of humanity is occuring as we breathe. The paradigm shift is among us and my shift came to the conscious self as my Dark Ride became the truly Beautiful Ride.

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