Saturday, September 18, 2010

Minimalist is me

Went on a somewhat normal, yet extraordinary ride this morning.

Normal in that it was a simple pick up ride, as I have done countless times before. Hooked up through the email list with Dennis and Chuck, two local characters who know who to spin the crank. We weren't far into the ride when we came upon Bruce, who was visiting from Georgia. Bruce was an Appalachian State grad and also had a daughter attending ASU, so he was back for today's football game.

But before that competition began, Bruce was setting up his own game plan by going long - on the parkway - for a training ride.  He's locked and loaded for next weekend's Six Gap Century in Dahlonega, Georgia (I did that ride in 2008 and it's a scrotum crusher...good luck old chap).

So there's your ride roster on the day:  Four (4) old guys about the same age whooping it up and enjoying the camaraderie and the miles.  We went  south from where Blowing Rock intersects the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the Linville Falls visitor's center, and return for a clean 50 miler.

We started to unpack a discussion on what we do, where we live, etc.  Standard chatter for most Saturday morning bike rides.  I mentioned being a faculty in residence, which means in live in the dorms.  Dennis thought about that for a moment and suggested I was a minimalist.

I let that sink in for a moment and then thought, "right on, Dennis!  I am the minimal man!"

Photo from
Maybe I'm still in push back mode from a previous world and life, one that failed to satisfy and only brought pain and heartache.  I'm a true mini-me; mini size the possessions, mini size the complicated relationships, mini size my own wants and desires.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have so little, but I have so much.  Having guys like Chuck and Dennis and Bruce, who choose to include me in their activities, is pure gold.  There were many years where I didn't have the connected life I have now.

At one point on the ride we were cruising across the parkway viaduct and the vast expanse of beauty was visible for miles.  It's at moments like that I tear up a bit and say "thank you, thank you, thank you Lord for giving me the life I have today."

Sometimes I go numb and have to pinch myself.  It truly is real.  I changed careers, earned my PhD, and now have a great home, job and community of friends in Boone, NC.

As Ricky Martin so aptly sang, Livin' La Vida Loca. Maybe I'm minimalist in some regards, but I'm living a crazy life and today was just another example of how good it can be.

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