Monday, July 5, 2010

Grateful for it all

Yesterday, I had one of those days that reminded me of how lucky I am.  It started with being grateful for Sherry and quickly accelerated into being grateful for all that I have.  I have a great wife, a good life, good health, and a job that doesn’t completely suck so you can understand the reasons for my gratitude.

The day started the same as most do in July, with Sherry and I up watching the Tour de France at 5:30 AM (or earlier).  I just love that Sherry is such a huge cycling fan (read Cycling fans like Sherry for more on this).  A lot of the cyclists I know have significant others who do not share their passion for all things lycra on two wheels.

Next up was a nice recovery ride.  I was supposed to meet a few friends down at Flying Goat (simply called The Goat) at 7:30 and roll at 8:00.  For various reasons they couldn’t make it so I was on my own.  Still, I sat down and enjoyed my pre-ride cappuccino and the beauty of the morning.  I’m not sure why but whenever I sip a cappuccino outside The Goat on a beautiful sunny morning I cannot help but reflect on life.

This was my mindset as I rolled along doing the Bike Path Pokey and saying good morning to anyone who would listen (and some who wouldn’t).  I am happy to say most of them said hello back and I was feeling too good to really care about the ones who didn’t.

I discovered that the new portion of the bike path was open.  While I miss the gravel I have to admit rolling along on new asphalt was quite enjoyable.  Steve, from West County Revolution Bike Shop, also rode it yesterday and said it was like riding on carpet.  For the time being, it is the smoothest 2 miles in Sonoma County.

As I was enjoying my “carpet” ride, the vineyard views, the distant coastal mountains, and the blue sky, I thought to myself, “How friggin lucky am I to have ended up living in a place like this?”  As you can see, my thoughts of gratefulness were rolling right along with me.

I continued along and came across an act of generosity that I found amazing.  There is a section on Guerneville Road where a bridge crosses Laguna de Santa Rosa.  The trees from the laguna grow up and spill over into the emergency lane where us cyclist ride to avoid the 50+ mph traffic.  When you reach this section you need to actually move into the lane of traffic to get around it.  On Sunday, there was a cyclist who rode out there with large pruners and was clearing our path.  He told me he does it every year.  That is just awesome!

I took the bike path back to The Goat where I enjoyed a post-ride cappuccino to reward myself for keeping to a nice, relaxed recovery ride.  There were two more interesting things on my ride back.  First, I rode up next to a guy who was carrying a huge antenna.  So I slowed to inquire and discover he had radio-tagged numerous Western Pond Turtles and was currently tracking them.  I don’t know why but I found that very cool.

I also came up behind two elderly ladies who were dressed very similarly including the wearing of identical Gilligan hats.  When I said “on the left” the both raised their hands to acknowledge they heard me.  Except it was synchronized.  I’m serious.  They both raised their left hands to the exact some height and the exact same time.  Their elbows were also the same height and at perfect 90 degree angles.  Chinese synchronized divers have nothing on these gals.

Finally, it was back home where Sherry made french toast for breakfast.

I know I ask everyone to stop from time to time and acknowledge what they are grateful for.  On Sunday, it seems I took my own advice.  I started out being grateful for something as simple as Sherry enjoying cycling and before long I was grateful for it all.  I hope everyone else feels the same about their own life.


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