I Love to Change Other People

IMG_0984     So I am getting my morning mountain bike ride in this morning and I realized something about myself. I love change as long as it is change that I like, and it changes other people.

About 3 to 4 times a week I am able to go for a mountain bike ride before my day gets started. This, to me, is a luxury of the highest order. When I was in college I thought that the perfect place to live would be a place with mountain biking right outside my door.  Since I am missing my leg, biking is a great form of low impact exercise for me and I fell in love with mountain biking when I was in college. So when I found a trail 5 minutes from my house I was more than excited. We moved two years ago and I thought that I would never find something that close again. I can go biking and be back home in less than 45 minutes, its great.

Something else you should know about me is that I am terribly out of shape, so my idea of a workout is a little more limited than some. This bike ride of mine is an end to end hill climb. I am in first gear almost from the beginning of the ride. So the first few times I did it I thought that it was taking 20 or more minutes to get to the top, which was fine by me because by the time I had reach the ridges summit I was ready to give a food offering to the trail (I felt like I was going to… never mind, you probably understand what I was trying to say). Then I took my sports watch and realized that this difficult ride was only taking me 12 minutes. So the answer to the question “how long does it take to wind Bart?” is “12 minutes”. Which may explain why I am having a hard time keeping up with my friends when we mountain bike on Saturday’s.

Back to the reason for this blog, THEY CHANGED MY TRAIL!! Anyone that has worked with me or been married to me knows that I love change. I love to be in a stream that is flowing not one that is dammed. I love to be in environments that are asking the hard questions of whether what we are doing it effective, and if not, what do we need to do to make it effective. But dang it, don’t change my trail! I was having a weird morning anyway, I got a late start and I had some chest congestion that was giving me fits. I noticed that over the weekend they had added some gravel to the bottom of the trail which was nice. Then I noticed that they had cut up some downed trees, which was good. Then I got to the dreaded curve that usually dumps me. It is a combination of a tight right hand turn, roots that flow every which way, and nettles on either side. And I nailed it! for the first time in two weeks I made the turn without spinning my front tire around and pitching me into the nettles.

So now comes the part that upset me, after defeating the dreaded curve I felt pretty good until I ran into a detour that had been cut into the trail. Obviously they were trying to change the way the trail takes you up a very steep ridge. So after being initially shocked I thought that maybe this would be a good detour. Then I realized that not only was the ground not packed down, but the trail was not done. For someone that wants to get his work out in, and get down the mountain this was very distracting.

All the way up the trail and back down again I was thinking about how much I didn’t like this change and then something else odd happened, there was someone else on the trail. This trail is great for me because it is close and very unknown and at 7:45 in the morning I am not expecting to see ANYONE. That is why I take my dog Spendy with me (quick aside, herd dogs take some training when you are flying down hill on a bike. They will still try to herd you, this has caused more than its fair share of accidents. I usually end up saying the phrase “Back Spin” about 10 times on the way down. Backspin, that’s funny).

What I was really upset about was that I had set in my mind, based on prior experience, how my ride was supposed to go. I had even timed it so that I would be home at a specific time. On my way home I was trying to figure out why they had to change my trail. Then it occurred to me that they were trying to improve it, and I had just come at the wrong time. Then it occurred to me that I would probably like what they did eventually as soon as I could “routine” it. Meaning as soon as it becomes part of my morning process, I will be okay with it. Then, and this is the crazy part, I asked the question “I wonder if I could help them get this finished so that I can go back to riding uninterrupted.”  And if this sounds noble at all I will leave you with what my final thought was. “I wonder if I need to go riding earlier so that I don’t run into anyone?” Isn’t that a great thing for a pastor to think about? Avoiding people.

BTW, The picture was just to get you attention, cute huh?


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