Consecutive Days Riding: 7 Consecutive Days Blogging: 8
Today’s Mileage: 12 Total Trip Mileage: 68
As I ride the bike today, my legs pump and the wheel spins, and I am reminded of the satisfaction that comes from physical activity and work. Now I’m not going to sound like my father, who always said “Do it because I told you to,” for he believed in hard work (child labor) with little or no pay. I believe you should “do it” (physical labor) for the inherent benefits that comes with the effort.
Perhaps I had to develop a nonmonetary satisfaction for work because that was often the only reward I was going to receive from my father. I came to realize that there is a pleasure, a satisfaction that comes with physical exertion. In my youth I discover this, whether it was painting the long hallways at school (my father was the janitor), mowing the acres of school lawn, shoveling snow from the school sidewalks, or working on one of dad’s endless building projects. In addition, as I reached my teen years I hired myself out to local farmers where I walked endless soybean fields pulling up weeds, shoveled more s—t then I care to remember from barns and chicken coops, or went for a bouncy ride lifting and stacking the small rectangular hay bales on a swaying flatbed behind a tractor. In some cases the satisfaction might have come from adrenalin, in others it might have been the rhythm of the movement. There was also a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that came with the process and completion of the task.
Yesterday I spoke about the three forms of connectedness that make up my definition of spirituality. I believe that this physical labor in my youth helped to promote my connectedness with both my body and the earth. I went from being a thin lanky teen to a strong muscular young man. My appreciation of nature’s beauty, power and cycles deepened and nature rewarded me with mystical experiences.
I believe that this appreciation of and connection with nature was a sentiment that was far more common in earlier times, when many/most jobs were of a physical nature… especially agriculture and fishing. You could not help but develop a connection to and a relationship with nature (the land or the sea), whether one of respect, dependence and/or struggle.
I know in my own academic job there is little or no physical activity, with lots of mental tasks and a multitude of reasons to worry and ruminate. Not to mention the two hour a day commute. So if you find yourself wondering, “Why does he take so many walks?” “Why does he ride his stationary bike so much?” Just remind yourself that it has something to do with connectedness, and then take a walk and think about it.
A special thanks to the photographers associated with Panramio for the beautiful scenes from along the roadside.