Saturday morning, I went for another group bike ride with Andy Jordan’s group. I’m really enjoying watching the other biker’s techniques and learning from them. Andy has the utmost patience and is helpful to correct and instruct while challenging my strength and endurance. I am already a better biker from having ridden with the group two times.
In preparation for next week’s event, I chose to go straight from my morning bike that met at AJ’s Bike Warehouse on 13th Street to a run down Broad Street. As soon as we returned from the ride, I changed my shoes and headed towards the sidewalk. As I turned the corner in front of Andy’s store, I began to run.
And the most unusual thing happened.
As I walked from my truck towards the sidewalk, I was fine.
But, when I took that first step in my run gait, my legs didn’t do what I told them to do.
They almost folded underneath me.
I almost fell…. with Andy and Drew and a few other bikers watching.
The rest of the run, all I could think about was this stumble.
One thing that I thought a lot about was muscle confusion. If you perform the same movement over and over again, your muscles learn to make that repetitive motion and become comfortable there. In fact, if you do ten sit ups, once a day for a year, your body won’t actually be able to maintain muscle tone and strength. You must either do more sit ups or do another abdominal exercise to keep your body fit and strong. Muscle confusion keeps your body alert. When you do a different exercise, your body becomes confused and your muscles have to work again and differently to perform this new action. This is what keeps our body strong and fit. This is why cross-training is so good for our bodies.
So, I was thinking about my bike and run. The repetitive action of each leg going up and down for twenty five miles trained my legs to make a certain specific movement. Maybe when I got off the bike and walked, that motion was similar enough to the pedaling motion that it wasn’t that difficult for my legs adjust. BUT, when I began to run, it was different enough that I almost completely failed at those first two steps… the first right step and the first left. Had I not been paying close attention to my steps and my foot placement, surely I would have tumbled. I praise God that I did not fall.
What amazed me was that every consecutive step after those first two steps were comfortable and easy, but those first two almost threw me….. literally.
I’m always looking for the spiritual parallel to the physical world. And I began to think about how this principle applied to my own life.
Here I am at a crossroads .. about to be divorced. I am in transition from the “bike” to the “run.” My spiritual muscles have flexed in a similar fashion for the last twenty five years. Surely, they are experiencing muscle confusion. And it may be that these first few steps could be the ones that throw me.
And so, I am doing my best to pay close attention to my steps….each….individual….one. Each move is critical. Grace and mercy are there, should I need them, but I’d much more prefer to pay close attention that I not injure myself or those that I love that are walking beside me.
Oh, that I may later whisper again ….”I praise God that I did not fall.”