After years and thousands of miles of pedaling my bicycle I’ve come to learn that around mile 30 is where you reach bliss. By this point both your muscles and lungs have warmed up and your body moves in almost involuntary motions as you spin the pedals. Around mile 30, hills become easier. You float over them rather than grind your way up and over. Around mile 30 you shift through your gears, sip your water bottle, and nibble your granola bar without thinking about it. Everything begins to fade away and it is just you and the road. It’s bliss; it’s what athletes refer to as “the zone.”
But getting to this place of bliss takes more than 30 miles. It takes months of conditioning. Building up your muscles to endure long days in the saddle. Expanding your lungs to take in more air. Getting your fingers used to the shifters. You don’t merely hop on your bike and hit the zone at mile 30.
I am beginning to see this model mirrored in other places. I see it in work, in relationships and in life. I see it takes time and energy. It takes devotion. Lasting friendships aren’t made in a day. Careers aren’t established in a few hours. Life cannot be crammed into a month. You have to be willing to put in the time to get the rewards.
Seven years ago, when I first got into road cycling, it took all that was within me to even finish a 30-mile ride. I was awkward on the bike and my spandex shorts itched. I’ve come along way on the bike, but there’s still more room for improvement…a lot more room.
I’m 24 years old now. I’ve come along way, there’s still more room for improvement; but man, when you hit those moments of bliss…it’s exciting.