Grit Of The Grind

25 August, 2016

Going slowly, owning a few things, and using a few resources forces a simpler lifestyle. Within simplicity lies a world of breaking from the confines and anxieties of the Western world. A pared down life. It's what I have been longing for and hoping to achieve when I moved out of the Big Apple to the Hudson Valley. A town with no development but lakes, mountains, and trees was exactly the soothing landscape I needed to soothe my cravings. Cravings for adventure, nature, and freedom. I find in these long stretches of time spent on a hike or ride in the outdoors is the disconnect I need from the domestic to the primal, a world of realizations, gratitude, and simplicity.

On my rides recently, I have been thinking about what it means to measure up to the grind of escaping and the grit that comes along with it. Many times on my rides, I feel that I'm searching for a balance between my body, my bike, and a longing to lose myself. It's a constant dialogue I have with the world on the pavement where the road is a mirror which I keep looking at, reflecting pain, obstacle, doubt, and yet boldness to sit up from the saddle and climb. Cyclist are like that, we are always trying to declutter and push ourselves so we can go further.  On these climbs I beat myself up between the battles of necessity, comfort, and desire. With every pedal up there is a fresh start at the top, a dedication to renew myself.

As a cyclist, the longing for endless roads and trails also measures with how much you give to it. The further you go the longer it takes to get back. At times, I like to stop and take pictures or enjoy the sound of rushing water in the rivers. Anything that reminds me of all I left behind I absorb in losing myself in. In a world where success, likes, money, and possessions defines self worth, the bike doesn't care. It doesn't care about what you've done or where you're going, what you give on it is what gives it life, it's what gives us life.

I believe that escaping daily from the domestic life is necessary. It's why so many of us gravitate so strongly to the bike. It's symbolism of balance, freedom, and adventure. Offering us escape and exploration to see the world with new eyes. In the next few weeks, I'll be planning an escape out on the open road. A road which will reflect suffering but also fulfillment. You will probably hear stories here from other women who've lost, or found, themselves on the road. You will also hear the grit of fear, worry, and anticipation of my journey towards this escape. I hope these next few weeks will inspire adventure in you and dare you to come along.

image courtesy via @queenofthemountns

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