I've been Mtn biking for many years now. In fact, longer than some of my twenty-something peers have been alive. Over the last quarter century I've seen and ridden an ever evolving progression
Of technology. Through these advancements the sport itself has evolved as well. The machines we ride today can accomplish amazing feats and take relentless beatings. Through sobriety, what Mtn biking means to me has also evolved.
I've been Mtn biking much longer than I've been in recovery. When I was an active alcoholic, Mtn biking was a great outlet for my aggressions as well as my desire to be one of those " crazies" involved in an extreme sport. Adrenalin was my drug of choice during my sober hours in that period of my life. When the ride was over, it was time to drink, whether for victory or defeat didn't matter, it was just how the ride was closed. Unfortunately, many of the by-products of my disease rode with me. Most of the time, anger, fear, envy, or ego were in charge of my ride. For many years I took the wonderful gift of Mtn biking for granted, never realizing the privilege that I had. I knew nothing about gratitude in those years.
It was just before the holiday season when finally, I decided I had to change my life. It was a long cold winter that year, but with the help of my program and some amazing new friends, I started to improve my mind, body and spirit. I didn'teven realize how much stronger I was becoming, but many people in my life were noticing changes in me. I was learning the meaning of words like faith, hope, and gratitude. My whole world was changing for the better. My riding season that year was the best one I had ever known! Those by-products of my disease were no longer in charge of me, and my outlook on life and Mtn biking was changing. I was beginning to realize what an enormous gift Mtn biking is in my life and that it is medicine for the three major aspects of my disease, physical, mental, and spiritual.
After becoming a ride leader through BTC, mtn biking gave yet even more meaning to me! Now I have the opportunity to help others with addictions as well as being a positive role model for some troubled teens. I'm able now to give back so many things that were given to me, both through biking and the program that has kept me sober.. That is an incredibly powerful gift that I'm very grateful for. When I see one of the kids overcome a challenge on a bike that they may have earlier thought was impossible, the joy for me is sometimes overwhelming! I get a huge kick out of watching these kids improve as bikers and as people! It is a gift from God to be able to have this kind of impact on a kids life, for which I am very thankful .
I can honestly say that Mtn biking means more to me today than it ever has. Where it used to be more about the rush and thrill, it is more about learning and teaching now. I ride for more reasons than I ever have before. Now when I ride I see more beauty, smell the scent of earth, hear the songs of nature, taste the dust of my fellow riders, and most importantly feel that I belong to this amazing life! So, I have to say that what Mtn biking means to me these days is that
EVERY RIDE IS A GIFT! Don't forget to cherish it!