Monday, January 01, 2007

My Time In The Desert

February 7th, 2002 - I was 4 hours into a 6 hour training ride, about 65 miles southwest of Tucson, Arizona and close to the Mexican border. I was approaching the small town of Tombstone, my turnaround point.

I had spent those last 4 hours riding straight into a stiff headwind. My face was caked with salt and I was a mental mushball. Something about the wind whistling in your ears for 4 hours straight drains the life force out of you. The steady climb to Tombstone and relentless headwind slowed me down to an average of 12 mph. An uninspiring speed.

But all of this was about to change. I ascended to Tombstone, found an outpost to replenish my water, hopped back on the bike and began my return to my temporary home of Tucson.

And this was where I found a moment that has and always will stay with me. I've written about this moment one other time. That feeling where all distractions leave and your world becomes singular and purposeful.

Suddenly I had a tailwind and slight descent back into the valley of Tucson. A surge of adrenaline won me over because I had past the most difficult leg of my ride.

Spend enough time on a bike, and like anything you develop skill. I was feeling fast and wanted to take high advantage of my speed, so I clasped both hands behind my back and kept my head low to reduce my profile.

Perfect feeling. Steady 34 miles per hour riding that felt like flying through the desert. I gazed at the rhythm of my legs. 34 miles per hour and 120 rpms. My legs were pumping quickly up and down, like huge pistons powering an engine. Four weeks now in the southwestern desert and my legs were chiseled, my skin tan and seemingly translucent that you could see all of the muscle fibers in my quads and calves and the blood vessels feeding them. From feeling wasted and drained, I now felt powerful and perfect. I felt rewarded for the thousands of miles I had written those past few weeks.

All a sense of peace and fulfillment in that moment. That's what I felt. Everything was so silent. I remember that time sort of stretched out when I looked down and watched the work my legs were doing. High speed, high heart rate, deserted and clear landscape, hard work and powerful legs. Purpose and peace. Pureform.

It was a state of mind that forms the foundation from which agile was built. I want others to find their own personal moments by moving and using their bodies to find inner peace and purpose.

That moment for me was a small nugget of time that was buried under piles of hard work. To feel that way for just a moment - it meant more to me than all of the 1-2-3 finishes I had later that year. I won and placed in those races not because I was a special athlete, it was because of the hard work at 12 mph climbing against the wind to Tombstone 4 months before. Each and every mile, seemingly inconsequential, amounts to something powerful.

Question why you have to go to the gym today, but do it anyway. The rewards are surprising and powerful if you let yourself do the grunt work that needs to be done. Don't question the outcome, because from where I am sitting, you cannot yet know it.

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About Me

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NY, New York, United States
I'm 34 years old, the proud father of 2 beautiful children and husband to Jennifer, a beautiful, smart, and very caring woman. I'm an athlete - someone that was blessed with the ability to move fast and fluidly past, around, up and over my opponents. But, my body now reminds me that those days are numbered. I'm the Founder of Agile Fitness, a company dedicated to helping others achieve their fitness goals. Resume: - Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist ('96). - Bachelor of Arts & Science, University of Delaware, ('95) - Masters in Business Administration, Baruch College Zicklin School of Business ('01)