You actually have to stop and listen if you want to hear the direction of your heart. ~ Dena Trakes Patton
I loved running. Until my knees gave out, I enjoyed the pleasure of a long run more than anything. The sound of the snow crunching under my feet, the cadence of my sneakers on the pavement, getting lathered up in a hot summer sun, or getting soaked running in a rain shower were all parts of the running experiences I loved. When I was in sync with my breathing and my footsteps while my mind would wander off to some idle thought or start solving a problem, I could run forever. I truly enjoyed the solitude of the long run.
When I am out on my bike, I experience a great deal of the same emotions. Because I am going a little faster and am covering more distance, I cannot wander quite as easily or I may get clobbered by a car or truck. Otherwise the sound of the wheels winding on the road in concert with the cadence of my breathing while my mind wanders is the best.
It is in those moments of solitude and relative silence that I find answers, ideas, and solutions. There is something wonderful and powerful about taking your mind and your body out for a spin. I never take my IPod with me and my trips because that would filter out the most important noises – my body and my mind working in concert with my surroundings to provide the perfect blend of peace and noise to connect me with the inspiration for the day.
I embraced this quote because it reminded me of the noise that I find in quiet solitude of my exercise routine. Psychologists say it takes about thirty minutes of allowing your mind to wander before the subconscious takes over and starts to deal with what you are feeling. I find that to be so true on my rides. When I first start out, I am getting comfortable, settling in, warming up. Then it seems like I go into space. I go into this zone where I am simply riding along in this state where I am absorbing all I am seeing and hearing, yet I am in another place and receiving answers.
I do not know if you have a routine or a place that you can go to for answers like my running and riding does. Trust me when I tell you, when you find that very quiet place, allow yourself to listen to the noise that exists there. You will find peace, you will find energy, and you will find answers. And, leave that silly IPod at home.