Learning “we”

I was a little nervous, the feeling that comes to you whenever you face something new. I had been invited to ride with the Trace Bike Club through a fellow biker. She told me that she would be riding that day also, but training on a different route.

I showed up at Loveless Cafe, where the club meets to begin their routes. I didn’t see my friend anywhere, so I realized I was going to have to maneuver through this one myself. I saw all the bikers gabbing and getting ready, so I tried to pretend to know what I was doing to cover my insecurity. I started making small talk to the bikers around me, learned a few names, and then realized I was going to have to pick a group to ride with. A group seemed way too ambitious, C group…I didn’t want to be at the back! So I chose B group, having no idea how fast they would go.

As we moved out onto the 23 mile loop, I became suddenly attentive to all the hand signals and verbal commands. This group was little talk and much speed. I knew I was in it now, so I just plunged ahead to keep pace. At one brief stop, I realized I actually knew someone in the group. I felt more at ease.

Group of cyclists drafting

But the next part of the route was the kick, a long ride down Highway 96. I drafted here behind the acquaintance I knew. She pulled me along at a good clip, but I didn’t feel spent. It is the power of drafting. Sometimes I will turn my pedal once for every two times the lead bike does. The windbreak it creates still stuns me. I starkly realized the difference as I took the lead next and created the draft for everyone else.

For me bike riding has been about learning “we.” As opposed to running, which I could do on my own, I don’t like biking by myself. I not only feel safer with others, but the power of the draft is huge bonus.

This is such a good analogy. For so long in my life, all I have honestly known is “I.” I tell Heidi that I am a recovering narcissist. She helps me by pointing out when I use “I” or “we” in my conversations.  It’s not just a grammatical switch. It’s a heart switch. I am slowly learning connection after all these years.

I am finally learning “we.”

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About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
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2 Responses to Learning “we”

  1. Charles DeWitt says:

    Bill, Great analogy! Ask Hal about drafting this past Saturday, with 8,500 other cyclists in the Pyrenees. We learned the meaning of “we” all over again!

    • Coach D says:

      I will ask Hal. I can’t even imagine what it is like to be with 8500 other cyclists! Wow! Maybe I will be able to try the race at some point.

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