December 3, 2009 Posted by Caitlin Hollister

Fitting in the ride

When I called my husband yesterday at 3:30 in the afternoon, he was just cleaning up after a mountain bike ride between classes.  "Rode alone today.  Everyone's too busy to hit the trails."  It's become our frequent lament - trying to find folks eager to ride, to run, to hike, to ski during the busy days of school and work and kids and errands.  In recent years, I've been unwilling to give up my recreational time to do laundry or correct papers.  Sure, I have plenty of things to do, but my responsibilities (no kids, one dog, small condo in the city) are few all things considered.   While going to the gym can seem like a chore, my rides and other outdoor adventures are truly at the top of my list when I think of how I want to spend my time.  Ideally, I can combine the other list topper - spending time with my friends and family - with recreation.  But sadly, activities like walking through the Arboretum, riding 15 miles out of town, and hiking a new trail are the first things to drop off the to-do list.

If we love adventure, why do we only let ourselves embark after we've "accomplished" enough work and chores to earn a ride?  Instead, we can design our days around what gives us the most joy - running a few miles with our dog, or riding an hour on quiet roads.  During this month of precious daylight hours, I relish my afternoon walks with Mocha through the woods, knowing that my emails and lesson plans can wait til the darker evening.  

It's not always an easy system.  I feel pangs of guilt - Am I doing enough for my third graders?  Should I be helping my neighbors more with our porch repairs?  But the regret I'd feel if I didn't ride, didn't run, didn't hike, would be so much greater.  

As winter begins, I urge you all to make small adventures drive your days.  What are you doing this weekend?  Holiday shopping?  Cleaning the house?  Nothing that can't be done after 5 when the sun sets.  Get outside, get together, and get moving.  

Comments on this post

So true. I'm getting ready for our annual Share the Warmth Coat Drive / Open House Holiday party and tonight instead of cleaning or whatever, I did our weekly thursday night mtb ride. Yes, it was 20-some degrees with the wind out of the North, but once in the trees and the fingers warm back up, I'm golden. Put in 12 miles and then downed some margies and chips. Best thing I've done all week. Get out,people!

you're right! Bake cookies at night!

Roxy, you keep me motivated! Anytime I think "Should I go out today?" I know that you'd be saying, yes, yes, yes...So I rode in the rain today and we're hoping to see snow in Boston tonight.

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