You Need the Right Equipment to Enjoy Your Journey

Lost that lovin' feeling?
Lost that loving feeling?

Twenty-six years ago, Pedro and I purchased our first mountain bikes. Pedro still has his original bike, only now it stays on a wind-trainer in the house, and we use it during the winter to stay in shape. Over the intervening years, they have provided us with many an adventure, hours of exercise and a lot of enjoyment. Well, mostly.

His skill level has always exceeded mine—mostly because he’s stronger and naturally more athletic than I am. Not to mention that I’d rather not fall and hurt myself, while his motto is “Blood, Sweat and Gears.”

About four years ago I lost a lot of my enjoyment for the sport. No one incident caused me to lose interest, but a lot of it had to do with my equipment. I purchased my second mountain bike about two years BEFORE some genius invented disc brakes (for those who aren’t into biking, disc brakes allow you to stop the bike with a gentle squeeze of a single finger on each hand as opposed to a Vulcan death grip on the old style caliper brakes that squeezed each side of the wheel).

We did a lot of riding in Montana, where one climbs steadily for an hour or two, and then zooms down in a matter of minutes (I may exaggerate slightly). My little old fingers had a hard time hanging on to the brakes for extended periods of time—the day after a ride my fingers hurt so badly I could scarcely type.

The second reason I lost my joy in riding had to do with heat. I hate heat. When I ride, I want it cold when I start out and not over 65 by the time I finish. We moved to Arizona. It’s often 65 degrees outside at 4 in the morning. Enough said.

Of course, when Pedro found donors to donate money to our school to start a mountain biking program for the students, he kept asking me if I’d drive a vehicle (he was able to purchase an enclosed trailer and 10 nice mountain bikes with front suspension and disc brakes). And I decided that if I went along for the drive, I might as well go along for the ride. But first I’d need a bike with disc brakes.

My new rideTwo weeks ago, I made the last payment on a new mountain bike with disc brakes—and I’ve already been on two rides with students. Yesterday, as I rode at the end of the line, enjoying the breeze, the pleasant day, the wildflowers, the accomplishments of the students and time spent in nature, I had time to think about the spiritual applications of mountain biking.

First of all, the right equipment makes all the difference in one’s enjoyment. A bike with nice suspension and disc brakes brought the joy back into my riding. The purists say that riding old school, with no suspension, shows how hard-core the rider is. I say that’s nuts. I’m too old to have my brains rattled out and my hands fall off. In the same way, a person should study a version of the Bible that speaks to them. There’s nothing more holy about reading the Bible in Shakespearian language. If I’m reading a love letter, I want to understand it—all of it. Find a translation that speaks to you and makes you feel loved and understood.

Second, it’s possible (ok, probable) that one’s attitude has a lot to do with one’s enjoyment. I PREFER to exercise under certain circumstances—but the last two times I went riding, I had a blast despite the time or day or weather. Once you find a version of the Bible that you love, make a commitment to read it, study it, enjoy it, learn from it and apply it to your life. If you make a commitment with your attitude, you’ll enjoy your time with God a lot more. Click To Tweet

Third, beware the burdens that you take on. This admission pains me to make, but I let my enthusiasm for photography unduly burden me. I had great reasons for hauling my camera with me—after all, mountain biking takes a person to some pristine places and one never knows when one will have a chance to photograph a bear or a rare bird. By the time I went on my last mountain bike ride with my old bike, my camera, water, spare tubes, snacks, binoculars and lenses, my backpack weighed in at over 30 pounds. All of that extra weight really changes a person’s center of balance—making it difficult to peddle up hills or confidently zoom down them. Likewise, as people seeking a relationship with God, we must beware the burdens that we take on. We can’t multitask during the time we spend with him, nor should we confuse relationship with following the forms and traditions of a religion. Religiosity is not #Christianity. Click To Tweet

There you have it—the spiritual applications of Mountain biking. Have you discovered spiritual applications in something that you enjoy?

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Wonderful analogy, Anita. it is so true that at times we take on burdens which are not ours to bear. May we lighten our load & keep centered on Him this week. Great reminder!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…He Restores FaithfullyMy Profile

    • Amen! Thank you for stopping by and linking up :). Have a wonderful week!

  • Getting the version of the Bible that speaks to us is so important. I enjoyed your post! Thank you for hosting us.

    • Amen! I find that I enjoy reading several different versions of the same verse if I’m studying a passage–that’s why I love my You Version Bible app for my phone :). Thank you for stopping by and joining in!

  • i loved this post anita. i’m not a cyclist but my local son-in-law is as well as my brother and his wife!

    I love this quote:)
    “The purists say that riding old school, with no suspension, shows how hard-core the rider is. I say that’s nuts. I’m too old to have my brains rattled out and my hands fall off.”

    There is no reason to do everything the hard way, especially when it comes to readying GOD’s Word! love the post!
    martha brady recently posted…HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO HEALTHY IN YOUR CHURCH?My Profile

    • It’s great exercise (and I’m hoping it keeps me young, too 😉 ). I tend to like doing things the hard way–hand quilting a queen-sized quilt, for example–but I’m getting better at questioning my own motives and trying to figure out what I’m trying to prove by my stubborn insistence in doing things the hard way ;).

  • Tara

    Loved this post. I wrote about Easter joy yesterday. I need to go link-up!! 🙂

  • I loved the spiritual applications you took from your experience with losing joy in mountain biking.

    Just yesterday, Easter Sunday, I was lamenting of whether I truly feel joy or even, “tongue in cheek” God’s love. Your words encouraged me so much!

    I read from the English Standard version which I like very much, but there are times when I will read a different version that the Words jump out at me in a different way. After reading your blog post, I’m going to make it more of a habit to read several different versions of a passage I am currently studying.

    The burdens you talk of also resonated with me as far as multitasking while in the Word.

    Thank you so much for sharing! I have been encouraged!

  • My husband and i mountain biked a lot in Ohio before our sons arrival. He still rides occasionally, but with having to find a baby sitter and much more climbing in California I am waiting a few more years before I will start riding agin. I can’t wait until our son is old enough to start riding. That will be fun, until I am left in the dust again. 🙂 Life changes and we have to adjust.
    Amanda recently posted…Girls Weekend GetawayMy Profile

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  • I often want everything to be just right before I work out… physically or spiritually. The temperature outside, the quiet spaces inside. There are more applications for another day, yes? Thank you for making me think. Much love.
    Wendy recently posted…Born againMy Profile

  • I’m not even a mountain-biker, but I got a boost from this article. My go to place for finding spiritual applications is my garden — don’t get me started! Isn’t it great when God meets us in the everyday details of living? Thanks for hosting this link up, and for sharing your words with us.
    Michele Morin recently posted…Getting ExplicitMy Profile

  • Anita,
    Great thoughts on biking and our relationship with God 😉 Pedro’s motto made me chuckle…I’m more like you.
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted…On oatmeal, calling (& First things vs. next things)My Profile

  • Good advice… glad you will enjoy your biking better now. 🙂
    Gentle Joy recently posted…Flavorful Herb Dinner RollsMy Profile

  • May we use the whole armor of God as the right equipment to prepare us for daily battle! Thanks for the great post and for hosting, and God bless!
    Laurie Collett recently posted…Salvation’s MysteriesMy Profile

  • Haha, I find that I have many of the same “qualifications” for things that you used to–certain heat, certain time of day…I think it must be freeing to let go. 🙂

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