Saturday, June 04, 2016

Riding with Muhammad Ali in my head

The scene: A sunny, breezy Saturday afternoon. It's today, actually. I'm rolling through the agricultural hinterlands northeast of London, trying to find a rhythm between the pedals, my legs and my mind. It isn't easy, as it's been a challenging couple of weeks on so many levels, and I'm not sure I'm remotely close to chewing through it all.

But that's why we take long, solitary bike rides in the first place. And as I pass through Thorndale, a picture-perfect farming community complete with kids playing in and around hammocks hanging under giant trees and a man sanding a newly built porch on an achingly beautiful century home, I find myself musing about Muhammad Ali, the fact that we lost him overnight, and the meaning of his life and what we learn from it.

Suddenly, a quote pops into my head that seems to make the day snap into focus:

"We live our lives one revolution at a time."

I'm no closer to figuring out the past couple of weeks, or navigating the next couple of weeks either, for that matter. But suddenly, as I mash the pedals, one revolution at a time in near-perfect cadence, the gears meshing with the chain and the entire machine feeling taut with energy under my fingertips, it's as close to figuring it out as I'm going to get.

The picture? Taken roadside, just west of Kintore, Ontario, some 32 km from home. It's my turnaround point, so  It's time to hit the Send key, tuck the smartphone back in my bike bag and pedal homeward. I'm sure there are a few eye-opening lessons in store for me on the way home, too.

Safe journey, wherever you're headed. And thanks, Mr. Ali, for your hard-earned lessons in the ring and, more importantly, beyond. Godspeed.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

Hopefully, we all have learned something from Mr. Ali.... what a heart he had... I remember the scowl that quickly turned into a teasing smile.... Love that... All bark and not a single bite...

Tabor said...

I feel if he had been born white or in a different time we would have been able to see even richer talents.