He had always felt like time was the enemy. He had fought against the tide his entire life. He was slowing down and the others around him were rushing away like some Einsteinian equation. He was desperately building dams that would not hold back a drop. His sweat was real enough but the goal was doomed and he knew it. He had become a comical parody of something he once (or never) was. He was mascot in a game he had once played. To his cycling friends he was a cautionary tale. If he rode better than a good rider, it was a wake up call for them to get back on their diet and training regimens. For new or resurrected riders, he was a stepping stone on the way to the sport and expert class. Everyone around him seemed to be able to get faster and he was struggling to maintain mediocrity. The victories were few and celebrated in private reflection.
There were three main areas of life as he saw it: Family, work, and bikes. The bicycle had been a refuge for him, a life saver in times with no anchor. Now it was just another thing he felt he needed to do because he had invested so much time. It was becoming another reminder of what he once had and no longer could maintain. Maybe now (just in the nick of time) he could add music to the list. He could see a light on the horizon for the first time in years. It was getting larger. Maybe this would be the thing that would allow him to join the flow of the universe again. He was so tired of fighting.
It was two years ago today he thought. Of all the things the stroke enlightened him to, the one thing that cut the deepest was the ridiculous amount of things that were a complete waste of time and life. What a world it would be if we could afford to pursue things that mattered instead of the next car payment. He wanted to write. He wanted to play music again. He wanted to make sure his kids got every opportunity he could help them with. He wanted to be a person people saw, not an invisible part of the herd. He had time for those that understood him and he would have to let go of those that did not. All these things were easy to say, easy to read on a fortune cookie or greeting card, but they were heavy words to live by. He was going to try.