Check out that view from Oak Mountain in Birmingham, AL.

It took my breath away, and I felt the freedom of just riding.

I stopped just to listen to the silence at this moment.  

You know when you are in a beautiful place when you can stop, and while istening to your own heartbeat is the only thing breaking the silence.  The wind from riding hitting your face, and the exquisite landscapes transitioning each mile can't allow you to focus on anything but the beauty of what is encapsulating you....  Blanketed in beauty....A place and time where I truly didn't care my power data, heart rate, training plan, or cadence because all that could take my breath away was the beauty of what I was experiencing in these moments.  The plan didn't matter, and my goals didn't matter, because these moments mattered more, and I needed to soak it in.  If I couldn't absorb this weekend of beauty, I knew that I had lost the reason of why I love the experience of riding.

 

IMG_7116.JPG

I wanted to get lost, but then thought about the coyotes and decided that may not be such a grand idea after all.......

I can't say that the ruthless intervals, long rides in the cold and rain, the wrecks, the heartbreak, and sheer pain of cycling always keeps me grinding....However, experiencing the beauty in moments, like from this past weekend of riding, keeps all the training, racing, and seriousness of things in perspective.  There is racing and training....and there is enjoying the ride.  I try to do them all. 

I was able to think about the many things, and so many people, that I am so thankful.  I was able to absorb the beauty in this moment and season in my life. Because, the truth is, you know reality can change in an instant.  

 

IMG_7108.JPG

I was able to stop and say, right now, I am truly filled with happiness.  I can't say that I  have always been this happy, and in fact, have been through quite a bit in my relatively young life.  But it brings me hope, because I now know that I am out of a plateau or valley of discontent where you feel like everything or almost nothing goes how you have planned.  

Cycling provided me a hug from nature this weekend.  

IMG_7094.JPG