It’s occurred to me over the last month or so, the numerous places i’ve been and stayed; Hotels, couches, Air mattresses, couches, and the like. Traveling for racing and training, as well as a much needed trip back home to where I grew up, there are also multiple settings where we can encounter a mirror. Literal and figurative mirrors. Literal, in the bathrooms, airports, stores, cars, among others. Figurative, in the people around you, those who cross your path who’s energy and light you love. And those who’s energy you not so much like or love.
In any case, the light in every one of these mirrors is different. So what you see and don’t see will vary greatly. In some of these recently, maybe because I am really in a state of growth and awareness, I see the scars and conditioning to my body. When I was younger. I grew up with the idea that a man had muscles and how you looked really mattered. Now, I will clarify that this was when I was really young. Really young. But that doesn’t mean that it didn’t translate and shape somewhat the path I was headed down. Of course as we age, we hopefully learn and grow, and think critically about our choices each day and what they will afford us in the future.
Recently, I looked in the mirror after training then hoping into the shower. The light must have been just right, as I turned to my left, I saw my reflection and what appeared to be me giving myself a hug. In between my fingers was a set of road rash scars, and as I dried myself off, my fingers ran over them. It was pretty powerful connection. So powerful, I wrote about it.
At this particular point in my life, I am in a state of reflecting and wanting to be the best I can be. Not just at a few things, but rather quite a few. I wrote a few letters to people who will be in my future. One of which is myself. I won’t go into too much of the details, but to sum it up, I told myself that in this moment I am doing the best I can. Though you’ve loaned me this body, mind, heart, and soul, I will be returning it with a few dings, scrapes, scars and most importantly along with them, wisdom. That wisdom will help guide you in the future, and your job will be to use it and share with others. I told myself, that today I am learning to continue to live in the present and be grateful for who I am, who’s around me, and where I am headed. I am learning to understand that I am not the degrees behind my name, the results I’ve had on a bike, a Vo2 max, the clothing, beard or haircuts I choose, the physical ability and aesthetics that come with conditioning, the music I listen to, the books I’ve read and not read, along with many other attributes and characteristics. Just like the story of my wallet being lost, and losing the money, passport, licenses and credit cards, that was a small example of non-attachment. On a larger scale, all that I said above, to practice non-attachment to it as many believe it is what defines a person.
All that said, those are all characteristics and aspects that make up the whole of who I am. And in fact, if a lot of them weren’t in place at this point today, I could not have done what I did today. Shortly after this photo was taken, my mother and I came across a family that was struggling to get their mother/wife out of the trails. She had broken her ankle and needed to get out as soon as possible. I obliged to help as my mother help direct their son back to the parking lot to be ready with the car. The mother was likely in her 70’s and I was able to carry her out of the Sedona trails on my back to the parking lot, saving some considerable time and possible further injury to herself, son, and husband. I can give you endless circumstances and situations with similar accord that have happened in my life. But for me, what it comes down to is trying to be present and caring for your mind, body, and soul today. So that in those moments you can serve to the best of your ability. I feel I’ve done a dutiful job at caring for my body, of course. But if I am humble and honest with myself enough, I know that I need to continue to match that level of commitment for my mind and soul.
In trying better to serve, I share these somewhat candid thoughts that I am experiencing as of late. As posted earlier, I am doing my best at this time, and if I come from my heart and a place of love, if even one or a few of you give yourself a hug and an OK of where you’re at, then it’s good enough. To be kind to yourself and continue to move forward from a place of service to yourself and others will be an incredible step. And look to do so in as many ways that you can. Have a check and balance on the schedule to regularly catch stagnation and limitation of growth. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not moving as fast as others, or be above anyone if you’re moving faster. Rather, ask for help, or reach out your hand and share that wisdom to those who seek it.
My future self will have access and the passcode to all the deepest thoughts and moments of my life. I’ll be able to go back and look at the growth and or stagnation that has been in my life. I believe that things will keep coming up until you learn the lesson, and though I don’t think life will ever have an end to learning, it will be nice to move through some patterns that present themselves now that I am aware.
A last thought, it was a great feeling (which is why I am sharing) to write a letter to my future self. I said to have patience and grace with the process and path that I chose along the way. It will never be to have exhausted and demolished what is available at the time of reading, rather to be thoughtful of being the best I can be when I visit this letter. Try it yourself. Take a few things that you may identify yourself as, and if you don’t have anything, ask others what they think and see of you. (for instance, if I show up on a group bicycle ride, pretty much the conversation is a race or fitness (understandable), however that is not the only thing that defines me), you’ll find so many amazing attributes and characteristics that encompass who you are. As well as finding new ones you’d like to have as a part of your journey.