Went for a long bike ride today. I almost made it to Big Babanki, but I didn't know how many more hills I'd have to climb (I didn't pay that much attention when I was in the car!), so when I got to 10 miles, I turned around. And woo hoo! More than once I went down a beautiful long hill at speeds up to 35.5 mph (this is on a mountain bike, God only knows how fast I could have gone on a road bike)!!! That was awesome. Totally awesome fun. Fun to the nth degree. Definitely have to do that again! Again I am reminded of just how much fun I have riding a bike. Sheer, pure, unadulterated fun. And I really, really needed that today, so I am very happy that I went out and rode. I thought I would take some photos, but I was much more inspired by the experience of riding the bike than the scenery (it's the end of the dry season and well, everything looks an awful lot like No. California in the summer. . .)
Mon: Run 3.19mi 29:20 Bafoussam (Nat'l Youth Day -- a holiday here)
Tue: Run 4.02mi 37:11
Wed: letting the thighs rest
Thu: Run 6.41mi 59:08
Fri: Run 3.00mi 26:53
Sat. Run 7.51mi 1:17:43
Sun: Cycle 22.98mi 2:14:43
Thought I'd go much long on Saturday, but within moments of starting out, my upper thighs felt really tired and weak and the feeling never went away. I’m pretty sure it is my psoas muscles. They tightened up a bit on the bike ride today, but they didn't go all weak like yesterday.
Earlier this week, I was reflecting on the Gospel reading for the day which was the "great commandment" -- love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself. I realized that, for me, loving God with all my heart really was a call to be happy, to do the work that it takes to be happy (which has a lot to do with creating happiness within me, creating the right frame of mind). Although at times I can be quite content, I do not think I am by nature a happy person. Either that or it's just that I have built up a lifetime of the bad habit of negative thinking. At any rate, I tend to not do very often those things that make me happy. But today I did. Screaming down those hills, I was really, really happy. I need to pay attention to experiences like that, acknowledge them, and engage in them much more often. When I am happy like that, the world is a perfect place and I am filled with gratitude and love for God and humans.
Today I am grateful for the people at Cannondate who manufactured my bicycle. I am grateful for God and the earth that created those awesome hills, even if it meant I had to climb them before I could descend! I am grateful for the British (and Germans I think) who paved that road. I am grateful for all the Cameroonians in the area who were at home with their families or hanging around their neighborhoods so that the road was almost completely empty. I am grateful for sunshine and a perfect breeze. And I am grateful for the Horizon Chicken Shack in Bambui that had a nice cold Djino to quench my thirst and get some sugar back into my system and then had fufu-corn and njama njama to replenish me and a nice cold Amstel beer to finish things off perfectly.