It’s a big hill.

Some days are just like this.

Recently, I have gotten back into exercising.  Little by little, more and more.

I am trying to get healthier, and I have decided to deal with this by eating better and exercising more.  I’ve chosen bicycle riding as a way of doing this.

Of course, the life of a therapist is a particularly sedentary one.  Sitting in a chair isn’t as comfortable as sitting on a couch, but it isn’t too bad.  Except for my arteries.  I have been surprised to find that I am very, very out of shape.  I guess that I’m not in my 20’s anymore.

Today I went bike riding, trying to find an entry way for a nearby bike trail maintained by my town.  I never did find it.  However, I did get some exercise, and discovered other things along the way.

A male deer (buck) in velvet (see the antler) 8-4-12

While I was busy concentrating on the task of finding the trail, I head some movement in the bushes nearby and saw this deer.  The deer had velvet on its antlers (a summertime thing) and we enjoyed looking at each other.  I enjoyed the break from the worry about finding this trail which does not seem to exist, and remembered that in life there is more to see than the things we worry about day in and day out, if we just open our eyes and ears.

Not all things were great.

Hornet’s Nest? 8-4-12

Not far away from where I saw the deer, I also saw this hornet’s (?) nest.  I felt some trepidation about being 5 feet away from it before I saw it, but I also had some feelings of wonder while I looked at this monstrosity.  In a reflective mood after seeing the deer, I thought that sometimes in life, we are so busy looking for things like a non-existent trail, that we fail to heed warnings as well.  And even in things that cause us to be on guard, we can also find wonder as well.

The ride was not my best exercise ever.  I spent a bit of time walking my bike up hills as well as riding up them.

Work, work, work.

I also didn’t find the trail, and wonder if it even exists besides on paper.  However, I succeeded overall.  Why?  Because I put myself out there and got more experience on the bike.  I learned important little things, for exampe, that if I keep my face looking forward, the miles pass by quicker with less effort.

I also have more confidence.  My eventual goal is to do what is called a Century (a 100 mile bike ride).  I have set goals to get there.  Today was a step in that direction.  First, I hope to consistently be able to do a 5 mile ride.  Then a 10 mile ride.  Then a group ride with a group such as the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia.  Then some overnight bike-camping, then the Century.  Wish me luck.

The lesson for me today was to renew a focus on being mindful of my life, moment to moment, seeing the good and bad together and in each other.

What are your goals?  How do you break them down to make them manageable?  What pleasures and worries have you met along the way?  How have you chosen to handle your worries?  What gets you through the hills when you have to dismount?

Keep pedaling.  It’s a big hill.  I will, too.

See you at the top.  It’s a fun ride down the other side.

About Nate Prentice, MSW, LCSW, CAS-PC

Nate Prentice, MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Pastoral Counselor who maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Drexel Hill, PA.
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