My heritage is very German. I am 3/4 German and 1/4 English. Believe me, that particular combination works against me physically if I don’t keep moving. I have spent years trying various activities to stay in relatively decent shape. Yesterday I mentioned a few reasons why I combine dancing with cycling. Today I saw a video that made me think about why we do what we do.
Dancing, to me, is breathtakingly beautiful. I love the absolute control I must have over every single part of my body in the movement. As I get better at ballet I find myself more capable of the control I need from the very tips of my toes to the ends of my fingers. I love that I have progressed beyond worrying about simply where to put my feet – to controlling my hands, my facial expressions and the angle of my body. It is demanding. Most of all though, it lets me be. I can go out on the dance floor and no matter how fluffy, how angry I am at the world, how horrible things are in my life, it is time for ME to be in control. I can remember actual times stepping out on the studio floor on the verge of tears, or livid with anger, only to have most of it dissipate before we are even half way through class. And then, what is the most amazing about all if it is – there often times where I go to walk off the floor and I can no longer remember why I was upset in the first place. The studio is a place where I can be beautiful and feel creative. It has become a part of me.
On the opposite end of the spectrum we have my feelings toward cycling. It is actually completely different, although some of the end results are the same. I am not as confident on my road bike as I was on Mtb, and in shows in my speed and technique. I took a lot more chances with my Mtb, but then again I had a lot of miles put on that bike and we knew each other intimately. My road bike and I are still in the honeymoon stage and working out the kinks. All of the technical stuff aside, I have to admit that I dream of being out on my bike. As much as I love dance, my dreams are often of being on the road on the back of my bike, feeling the heat of the sun, the sweat on my back, and enjoying the world around me. Lately, especially, as the weather gets warmer and I think about routes I want to take I remember different hills or corners and go through them in my mind. I think of the traffic I will encounter, the various animals that might dart in my path, and various road conditions. I get excited when I think of seeing other cyclists out on the route, feeling a part of some bigger group – even though I almost always go out alone. I love the feeling of power I have as I am out, how I am a strange mix of strength and weakness when I get back. Oddly enough, I love how thirsty I get, how much water I drink. Mostly though, I feel alive on the back of a bike. I feel energetic and I love the look of surprise when people realize how passionate I really am about getting out and cycling. I appreciate my family understanding that it is a true need I have to get out and just be for a few hours. I don’t even listen to music anymore when I am out on my bike, I prefer to enjoy the back country roads and the sounds that come with it.
Through it all, it just seems that I need some time to explore and be beautiful and strong. I think that these two activities keep me centered, when the wind knows my name. It helps tame my restlessness, and gives me a good place to vent my frustrations and feelings in an proper manner. It is what it is.. and I love it.