A Turtle In Traffic

Picture 1Riding a Century is long!

As I prepared myself for a long day on wheels, I filled my tires with the necessary top off, and rolled out from the garage.  I wasn’t entirely sure how far I was going.  The map in my pocket prescribed an 88 mile route, but I had my sights on something bigger.


As I pulled out on Southport Road, I noticed in the distance the approaching gravel truck and tailing Jeep swerving out into the center to avoid something round in their tire’s path.  One notices these kinds of moves when the only thing between you and that truck is a helmet!


As I got closer to that spot, I identified a round lump, which, to my surprise became a frightened turtle, clammed up in his shell!  I couldn’t believe it, the little booger had gotten about 2/3 into the lane, and gave up!  Poor fellow!  So, I glanced at traffic and flipped around to grab him.  As I plucked him off the asphalt he looked my way, and cowered even more.  I walked over into the grass and headed toward the pond’s edge.  After laying him near the water, I jumped back on, waited for a couple cars to pass, then headed on my way.


For the next mile, all I could think of was – “Today’s going to be a long day.  Take it slow!”  And for the next 6 hours, I proceeded to remind myself- “Anything worth doing, takes time!”  Six hours in the saddle is a long time-  time to ponder, time to get lost, time to be angry, time to be happy, time to be tired, time to feel great- time for a lot of things!  But every time, every time I questioned what I was doing, I considered that turtle, and what a blessing he was to me.  “Take it slow.” 


Once I passed the 70 mile mark I knew I could do it.  I had pedaled to that point, had fresh water bottles, and a good meal, so why not.  I was amazed that when I climbed, I climbed, and when I rolled on flat, I really rolled!  I was still easily reclaiming 20 mph after a hill, recovering well.  I wasn’t completely shot!  In fact, quite the opposite.  The piece I found to be true for me, was that I CAN DO it, and I don’t need to worry about whether I can, or can’t.  You know, I’ve actually read in several places that ANYONE can ride a century on a bike.  If you train a bit, work hard, and plan it right you can do it too!    Most of the hundred mile achievement is mental.  That’s why the Turtle in Traffic was a big help to me!


But maybe that’s not your goal.  I’ve never been big on specific goals.  They always seem to get in the way of enjoying what’s right in front of me.  (Granted, most of the time that’s a Nutty Bar vs. weight loss!)  But I do see from this experience that maybe certain goals are worth writing down.  If you do not see them, you will not live them.  Perhaps that’s why reading scriptures daily is so important.  I don’t do that all the time either (yes- honesty is a drag, I know!), but, when I do, and it’s right in front of me, reminding me, it’s far more likely to make an impact, than just some faint memory verse in 5th grade Sunday school.


Perhaps that’s enough rambling for now.  Let me just ask this–

What is your goal this week?  this month?  this year?  

How are you coming along?


I think I’ve got one more century and a couple of mountains to tackle before I return to work.  See you soon! 

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