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Category: General (page 1 of 11)

General posts

Biking is my drug. And spiritual fix.

Lots of articles have been written about the psychological and physiological benefits of cycling and I can attest to many of those claims. But I think what people speak of, with not just cycling, but with various sports or activities, is that there’s a spiritual element to it.

While different people have different ways to experience that, I’ve learned over the years that often how I “recharge my soul” is through participating in activities that have the sensation of “gliding”, such as swimming, cycling, sailing, skiing, etc.

Several friends have commended me on how I’m able to ride so much, but the to me cycling is like a drug. A narcotic. A Candy Crush on two wheels. Once I get off the saddle, I begin thinking of when I can get on again. It’s addictive, and annoying my wife, but I’m sure other fellow cyclists can understand. It’s easy to get on when you come back refreshed and recharged.

People do mention and talk about that experience on the bike and of riding, but the concept of spirituality in recreation has been muted in this era of Christianity. Here’s one book that I’ve heard of several years ago that attempts to share how skiing can be such a refresher:

But it sounds like some Catholics have it down.

This Franciscan friar living at Huntingdon Beach shares a lot of experiencing God at the beach in this article.

And glad that Pope Benedict is quoted as seeing the recreational experience as a natural part of experiencing God.
“Skiing is practiced in a mountain environment, an environment which in a special way makes us feel small, giving back to us the right dimension of our being creatures,” he said. “It makes us capable of asking ourselves about the meaning of creation, of looking above, of opening ourselves to the Creator.”

Man, it’d be rad to go on a ski trip with the Pope. And shoot the breeze. If I was hanging with Pope Francis, I’d be “Yo, Pope Fran, did you take your Harley up to this resort? What say we go chill at the hot tub now then go feed the poor afterwards? Wanna play Candy Crush?”

So what recreations help you refresh your soul? Feel free to jot below.

I’ll end this post with this recent video about former KART and F1 race car driver Alex Zanardi, and how he started cycling. His quote regarding his winning of the 2012 Para-Olympic gold medal: “I won because I wanted to ride my bicycle.” Amen.

Nothing like good Tonic from CBC Radio 2

Coming home from an eventful day yesterday with a friend, I turned on one of my favourite radio stations, CBC Radio Two, to catch their radio program, Tonic, which is a “concoction of jazz and thoughtful stories”.
CBC Radio 2 Tonic
Photo source: CBC Radio 2

With the sunroof down on under a perfect Vancouver summer night and the whizz of urban city lights cascading by, the host, Tim Tamashiro, shares this one Canadian jazz singer, Lori Cullen, and her rendition of the classic Harry Mancini song, Moon River. And with her first phrase, I took off to another world. With the combination of inside and outside condition, it felt like a night cap after on a lazy weekend.

As a former Juno finalist for “Best vocal album of the year”, Ms. Cullen’s has an amazing voice, and her interpretation of that classic is quite unique. While not everyone will have the same opinion to what gives them that feeling, I still think it’s amazing how good music, whether it be jazz, rock, classical, worship, is able to capture one’s senses and take us to another place.
Lori Cullen
Photo Source: www.loricullen.com

You can listen to Ms. Cullen’s version of Moon River here

Why didn’t anyone tell me about road bikes until this year???

After moving back to the Greater Vancouver area this year, I figured I needed to pass the time by being productive, and exercising is a good way to do so.

My journey into the world of road cycling began with a fateful ride up Cambie Street in Vancouver just north of SW Marine Drive. Using a mountain bike, I thought I was in pretty good shape, and then this hill decided to humble me. Powering up this hill was far more than I bargained for.

To put salt in my wounds, my friend accompanying me was riding a road bike and darted off like Rob Ford after crack (sorry, low blow. wait, sorry again…). He waited a good minute for me. No. He could have put his legs up and had an espresso at the pace I was going.

After getting home with my tail in between my legs, I began an unhealthy obsession (similar to, but oh-so-very-different than these people). I bought a used road bike, suited up, and started riding.

Why didn’t anyone tell me about road cycling earlier? Easy on the knees, great for the lungs, the camaraderie with other riders, the space to meditate and contemplate.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been living in China the last 11 years, and it’s not easy on the knees because of the relatively poor road conditions, nor the air pollution for the lungs, and riding on the whole is meant for commute not enjoyment.

Okay, I can give you that. But glad I started.

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