Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Anything but Ordinary

I love my bike.  I really do.  I've never really been a bike person before (not quite sure what that is, but I know I haven't been one) but over recent weeks that has changed.

One of my initial purchases here was a half-decent Hybrid bike to navigate downtown cobblestone streets while at the same time provide the ability to hit some open road.  Until recently the farthest I can remember biking in one day was to visit my ex-wife when we were in college in Syracuse.  I lived on campus and she lived in a local suburb so it was a 10-mile schlep each way.  More difficult than the actual pedaling was navigating the busy traffic on the streets to get there.

Fast forward to now.  I have this Specialized bike that just feels good to sit on, to pedal, and to feel the wind while driving.  My legs are like little pistons and when I'm on it the bike is an extension, not something extra.  On the weekends I'll take the bike anywhere within 20 miles of my hourse as long as whatever I need to bring (or pick up) fits into the little backpack I use for traveling. 

I'm taking my bike to the shop later today for a check-up/tune-up.  When I pick her up tomorrow she'll be ready for another weekend to road-tripping.  The best thing about it is that the weather is getting even more awesome.  I don't have a single complaint about the hot, humid days of summer here.  Not one. But now the nights are getting into the 60's and the days are in the mid 80's and much less humid - absolutely beautiful.  These are days meant to be enjoyed and experienced, not stuck indoors.

Part of training for wrestling involves making weight.  I'm within 10 pounds of my limit with a little over 6 weeks to go until the first tournament of the year.  I'm comfortable that I'll make it.  I still make time to go to half-price burger night at BTP on Tuesdays but now (a) I get a salad instead of fries (b) I give the bun to the dog and (c) I spend a half-hour on the eliptical trainer earlier in the day doing pre-pennance to make up for it.


I was struck by a recent comment here by someone who questioned my transition because all she ever wanted to be was "just a woman" and I admittedly do not.  I suppose that I don't want to be "just" an anything.  I suppose my transition was a gateway, not a destination, and the path that it made available to me is the day-to-day life that I enjoy today.  It is as much (or more) mental than physical, and has as much (or more) to do with a deep sense of profound inner peace than anything tangible or visible.  I hope we can at least agree that there is no single one path to inner peace, and that none of those paths are any more or less relevant than others. 

Our path changes as we change. it "becomes" as we live and learn and do.  It is affected by time and experience, and at the same time it helps to shape those very things.  I truly believe that far too many people transition without ever recognizing it for what it is and in doing so they do themselves a huge disservice.  I also think many people seize control of their lives during the process, but then gradually relinquish it again afterwards.  As the person said in her comment to me, "It's your life" and yes - it very much is. 

Contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, I don't feel that transition is something you get through and then move on with life.  For me, it IS life, and although physical aspects or social aspects of it may dwindle with time the emotional aspects, the spiritual aspects, the life-altering perspective that it provided for me has not waned.  I went to a theological discussion not long ago given by someone who challenged that God was not an external entity as is so often depicted but rather, God was like water and we are like fish.  We live in it always and everywhere - it is part of us, and we are part of it.  I like that metaphor for other aspects of my life, as well. 

These are not simply words in my day-to-day life.  It is a calling.  It is a challenge.  It is a constant reminder that there is only so much time and so much to do.  And whereas I respect that others do not share a similar perspectives or life-goals I also don't feel the need to apologize for mine. And, I choose to fill my life with those who share a similar life energy as it's highly contageous.

I've got a number of "theme songs" in life. That is, there are a number of songs that effectively articulate different things that I feel, that I feel passionate about, or that evoke a strong emotional response in me. Music is the back-drop of my life and I'm always looking for new and interesting and fresh.  One theme song in particular comes to mind right now.

Anything but ordinary...

To walk within the lines
Would make my life so boring
I want to know that I have been
To the extreme.

So knock me off my feet
C'mon now, give it to me.
Anything to make me feel alive.

Is it enough to love?
Is it enough to breathe?
Somebody rip my heart out
and leave me here to bleed.
Is it enough to die?
Somebody save my life
I'd rather be anything but ordinary, please.
Good, good stuff.  It just seems self-evident to me. Anyway....

When I'm on my bike I typically  have to go over a bridge to get anywhere outside of downtown.  The largest bridge is a couple of miles long over the Cooper River, and is quite steep.  Running or biking up it can be a challenge, but once  you've reached the top the downhill ride can be pretty intense.  According to the cycling app on my iPhone I've reached 49 mph going down that hill and the wind in your hair while the world buzzes by is quite the rush.  It gets extra dicey when it's windy out and the bike shimmies a little bit while you plummet down this sidewalk.  Anyway - this song reminds me of that....


Angel said...

I haven't ridden in years, but I used to love getting out on my bike, away from everyone. Reading your post brings back some pleasant memories and makes me want to get another bike. :)

Sophie Lynne said...



Careful, Donna! Your NY is showing! ;)