Conversation Part I
A conversation ensued recently between a friend and me, prior to us getting underway for a short but fast 20-mile bike ride. My friend, in her late 50’s, explained to me how years ago, the sound her golf club made as it lowered to and struck her golf ball, took her to a different place. That sound; the swish and the subsequent strike of the ball, put her in a state of, all is good with the world – at least for a while. Golf was where she found timelessness.
A Short, Relevant Story
Eventually my friend would give up golf in favor of raising of her daughter, and developing her career. Her daughter would grow up, go off to college, and settle in another town. My friend’s career became so successful that it would come to run on auto-pilot. Soon my friend had a void in her life, and chose to fill that void by being active once again.
Rather than return to golf, my friend took up triathlons. Soon she was swimming, riding a bike, and running, in a competitive set. She took to triathlons well and has competed as far away as Australia. When she’s not placing well in her age group, she’s winning it.
The Conversation Part II
As we got on our bikes, my friend explained to me that she has a new sound now; the click.
Clipping in as us cyclists call it, is the act of fitting a connection on the sole of a cyclist’s shoe into an awaiting connection on the pedal of the bike, for more efficiency in pedaling. The act of clipping in is accompanied by a clicking sound. That click is what now puts my friend in that state of, all is good with the world – at least for a while. A simple sound, acting as a signal that inner peace is about to commence.
After the clip, and as the ride begins, she will develop a rhythm with her legs, start a cadence play in her head, and her mind and her body will become supremely correlated. So long as her mind and body are thus tethered, her essence will exist independent of the world around her – dictators, natural disasters, mass shootings, and budget defecates give way to the sounds of her gears, her heart, the wind, and her most essential thoughts.
One Woman’s Click, Is Another Man’s Clank
I remember precisely when and where I was the first time I heard an iron weight clank against another iron weight. I was at the District #3 Police Station in Denver, Colorado – I was 12 years old. Officer Ray Bingham had put the iron on the bar for me, explained to me how to lift the weight, encouraged me to do it with purpose, and I have never looked back.
For me, when the second weight clanks against the first weight, as I load up the steel bar for my first movement in the workout, that clanking sound sends a signal to my head that I am about to enter a timeless state. At that moment, all is good with the world – at least for a while. With the sound of a simple clank, little else matters but the impending lift, the feel, the connection created between my mind and my body, and the barrier that the act of lifting weights creates between me and all that is not right with the world.
Babies die. Wars rage on. Bankers corrupt. Congressmen cheat. Crybaby millionaire athletes refuse to play the very sport that made them millionaires. But when I hear that clank, my fingers wrap around that cold metal bar, the flow of my blood is redirected to the burning muscles in need, and I’m in absolute control of the weight as I raise and lower it, little else matters. It’s why I keep going back for more, day after day, year after year.
Your Sound – Your Song
I have high expectations of myself, and almost none of anyone else. I try hard not to impose my values and my beliefs on others. Occasionally I might share something which, in my life, has helped me better deal with the chaotic world around me, even if it can’t help me understand or change it.
An instant sound that prefaces a timeless state is like fast acting medicine. To be injected into a moment by a connection made between one’s own flesh and brain is near holy. It’s a feeling of not just being, but of being alive. This kind of exhilaration in an otherwise stifling world is as cleansing as a prayer. That, is an ideal I wish to impose upon everyone – and it always begins with a sound.
So for those who wish to comment this week, I am curious; what sound precedes your timeless state, and what does your daily action consist of…? Be well. rc
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