Crossing the century mark yesterday put me at around 408 miles over the last 11 days.  Numbers can be important.


1, 3, 5, 7, 12, 40, 1000, 5000; heck you throw a number out there, and somebody’s going to find some meaning or significance for it in the Bible.  Is that why numbers are important?  


Usain Bolt now holds how many world records?  His time in the 200m was 19.19 seconds.  Michael Phelps got beat in one if his latest races by .96 seconds.  Is that why numbers are important?


Some people crunch numbers for a living, trying to balance a checkbook, estimate accident or life expectancies, even transacting business at the checkout counter.  Is that why numbers are important?


I don’t really think that numbers are important at all.  I see numbers as a means to a greater commonality- experience.  Even economists look at the latest consumer spending numbers and attempt to interpret what I “feel” about the economy!  Do I think it’s improving or do I still think things aren’t quite getting there?  I think numbers need to go beyond asking what – towards asking how and why!


Numbers, thought of in this way, can lead us to interpretations of experience.  You see, I just got done riding 100 miles, and there is nothing like the feeling of that accomplishment!  It feels so good, I cannot describe it!  The emotions of coasting in that last mile or so were overwhelming.  It is not a frequent mark for most cyclists I run with, rather, it is often a goal or a highlight of the season, because it’s a big number!  It takes time and training and focus and most cyclists can commit to that only so much.  But the truth is, there are cyclists who go that every weekend, even every day!  So I qualify myself, just a little when I claim it.


I’m proud of my numbers.  I’ve earned them.  I’ve pedaled every mile.  More than that- in a spiritual and emotional way- I’ve gone the distance.  I’ve experienced the exhaustion.  I’ve known the high.  I have seen the mountaintop and I have rolled through the valley.  I have seen the glory and the misery.  This century, for me was a glimpse into my own happiness in a way not yet known.  The satisfaction of friendships long lasting, the joy of muscles doing their work, the nourishment of a peanut butter and jelly as it creates new energy within, the road- smooth and rough and the sign of the finish which made my heart both leap and sigh – that, my friends, is why numbers are important!  

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