Monday, October 08, 2007

How Old Am I?

In high school, I took things too seriously. I can admit that. I thought the entire trajectory of my life depended on the smallest things. Because of that, my classmates frequently did things to me for their amusement. A favorite was to call me "The Fat Hawaiian." It bothered me. One of the main reasons people did it was because it bothered me and they took joy in watching me get worked up. Calling out taunts during sporting events was another group's favorite pastime. All of those people knew how to push my buttons and did so at my expense for their amusement. Why wouldn't they? We were in high school and that's what juveniles do. That was then. At my 10 year high school reunion, several people mentioned to me how mellow I was compared to when I was in high school. I realize now it was because in large part I am more selective about who I choose to spend my time with. My philosophy about what it means to be a friend can be illustrated nicely with the analogy of a group ride. You have competitive group rides and friendly group rides. Both have their places and the competitive group rides are more like the business world. Everyone is in it for they and theirs and all strategems are employed to 'win.' And then there's the friendly group rides. The rides we choose to go on. These are rides where we all have fun together on a ride. We all move faster by working together. When I'm feeling good, I take a turn. When I'm not, I sit in. And so it goes. My friends are the people I choose to spend time and effort to maintain relationships. So with friends, I'll take my pull when it's my turn. I'll take long pulls and will pull as often as needed. But I expect that my friends will take their turn when the time comes. I don't have the patience to take pulls for people only sit in or for whom I am merely a source of amusement. This is now.

4 comments:

Sabrosa Cycles said...

hold your line!
no really, I would pull on the windiest of days for you - only because I expect that you would do the same for me. you're a good man, mister fisher.
jruss

cycles and cynicisms said...

Fish, your friends and family are really lucky to have you! You are a great example to me. . . You always know how to make someone feel invited or comfortable!

I still think about the time we went to ride up AF canyon and ran into the road rider that had crashed. Rather than driving by thinking that there is a good chance he will get down or call someone he knows to help him, you packed him and his friend in the car and drove them down to the bottom of the canyon and made sure they were ok!

We did not get to ride that night, but the feast of ribs you fed me, well, I still dream about them! Sharing your time and effort. . . That is what cycling is about! More important, that is what life is about!

Keep up the good work!

Fish lady, Fish, and Guppies said...

Here's the thing: your past is both a blessing and a curse. I don't think I really understood how to be a great friend until meeting and watching you. Being with you makes even the most mundane things better.

Devin said...

I like riding with you, especially when I was pretty fat and out of shape. You hung with me when I could barely granny up the alpine loop. I have always appreciated those times.

I also like to do the occasional "heat check" to see how I am doing compared to you or Dave or whoever else. They work to kinda see where you are at compared to your riding buddies, unless your initials are DJ and live in Oregon and you don't give a crap about keeping up with everyone else because you are too lazy. Too bad he doesn't read your blog to my knowledge.

Anyway, good times and last weekend was very sweet.