On NPR yesterday a veteran musician said he long ago transcended the mechanics of his music, and now he focuses on expressing himself. He can play the same song at a wedding and a funeral, same notes, and share completely different emotions.
That got me thinking: What emotion do I want to express when I ride? Can I express an emotion when I ride?
Most of my riding is an expression of mastery, of dedication, of discipline. This morning I felt dopy and achy and sad. After my warmup I said: I want to express joy.
Instead of focusing on my internal world, I felt the big energy around me, my wife and girls, and a connection to soft strength. I dropped into the XL slopestyle, not a spot in the darkness but rather a brightness in the light.
Braaap … braaap … braaap …
Big waves of pressure and release. Placing the tires just so: connecting with the ground, floating through the sky. Meeting the earth then adding a bit of myself. Technically, it was perfect. Experientially, it was buoyant.
I rode a dozen laps. A friend said he’s never seen me look so relaxed, so smooth — and that he’s never seen me have so much fun.
When you’re riding, working, spending time with your family: What are you trying to express?