For our summer holidays, Brian and I went to Scotland for a week. We took our mountain bikes and planned a couple of routes. The first ride around Aviemore was long, but beautiful and classed as “super easy” from a mountain bike perspective. The second trip near Torridon, even though apparently in the “all skill level” category, according to my app, turned out very differently…
It started off easy with a wide dirt road around a beautiful loch, which turned into an interesting muddy single track, which then moved into a gravel road that was super steep and then it stopped… The following two and a half hours were very insightful, painful and inspirational all at the same time. The scenery was stunning, it was very remote and there was not a single person in sight. However, we had to push the bike up the hill! I had never heard of the term “hike a bike” and was introduced to this concept on an experiential level right there. Normally you would carry your light weight mountain up the hill. Mine, a definitely more economical version, weighed so much, that carrying it up the hill was out of the question. So we pushed and lifted; and pushed and lifted over rocks and through streams. We averaged 3 km/h !!! After 30 minutes of exhausting exercise, I realised that the remaining 8 kilometres would not be any different. After I understood that and also felt that there was no point in blaming anybody, something really interesting shifted inside of me. Peace and a very deep rooted acceptance of the situation emerged. We had enough daylight, and even though we did not have enough water, I had made the decision that it was safe to drink out of the stream - and it was (after some small doubts that came after I drank the water…). I was grateful for every inch we could ride, even though there were few. At the same time, I surrendered to the fact that it was tough. I was elated when we reached the top, even though we could not ride down either…. The steep descent, including rock gardens, wore my brakes out, but somehow even the crossing of a river could not detract from my inner peace. There were moments where I thought I could not do it and it was exhausting, but there was absolutely no chatter in my mind and I somehow managed to tap into a pool of inner resources and guidance that I did not know I had. It was a truly magical experience, even though outright dangerous at times.
I liked the person I found within myself when I pushed the bike up the mountain; a person that can dig deep and find some strength from nowhere; a person that was at peace. I very much feel that this is within all of us. In those moments when we think we cannot do it, when we feel we had enough or want to give up, there is something else that can come in and support us. Let it.
Yoga, well-being and mindfulness... always walk in beauty.