I hate to admit it but my outdoor cycling season is quickly coming to a end. I’m going to hold out as long as I can, but the reality that unless I become a giant fan of riding in the dark part of my next six months of my cycling life are going to be spent spinning indoors.
In preparation to make this transition a little easier on myself, I’ve been doing a few rides on my rollers recently. Truth be told I’m really trying to psyche myself up for the indoor trainer season by trying to trick my brain in to thinking that indoor training really isn’t all that bad.
So the other night I headed to the garage, pumped up the bike tires, dusted off the rollers and climbed aboard. My dog, who had eagerly followed me into the garage, was spending her time hunting mice.
Under the cold fluorescent lights of my dingy garage I was trying desperately to stay on the rollers and not go flying off the side. If you’ve never ridden rollers before consider yourself lucky they are very similar to riding your bike on an ice rink. One swift move and bam on the floor you go. Trust me on this one, they take a while to get use too and I’m not too sure I’ve mastered them yet.
While I was struggling with my balance, my lovely dog spent the time contently hunting mice in the corner of the garage and when she tired of that she came and laid next to rollers. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind, but we had given her table scraps recently which gave her as some would say “the gas”. Every so often, while trying to maintain focus, the smell of my lovely dogs digestion system would fill my nostrils and cause me to become distracted. This in turn forced me to nearly crash off the rollers.
This went on for what seemed to be an eternity, which in reality was about 15 minutes, and as the seconds ticked by I began to question my own sanity and motivations. Why on earth would I leave the comfort of my favorite easy chair to spend time in the saddle balancing precariously on rollers while my dog does her best skunk impersonation. I may need to have my head examined.
I guess I do it because I trust that it will make me a better rider in the future. That the time spent spinning my wheels indoors will prepare me to climb a hill faster, ride further, or will simply help me look cooler on the bike (yeah right, hard to look cool while wearing spandex, but yet I manage).
My time spinning my wheels makes me think of all those times in my spiritual life where I have felt like I am simply spinning my wheels and not really growing in my faith. You know those moments where prayer feels a little flat, like your simply going through the motions. It is during these spiritual doldrums that it is all too easy to lose focus and slip off the track you are supposed to be on. I have learned that these doldrums serve a purpose. These prayers, just like riding the rollers, prepare you for the next phase of your journey. There is no such thing as a wasted prayer. We need to trust in God’s plan for us and continue to do what He places before us, even if it does feel like we are simply spinning our wheels.
Now if you’ll excuse me, my dog just ate a large bowl of leftover chili and I have another roller session planned. This could prove interesting.