An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Seeds planted in good soil

I'm reminded a bit of the post I made some time back about how information is best received when one is ready to take it in.

But there are also things that are done and said that lay dormant for some time, and only later do you realize that something was a catalyst for a future love.

My high school biology teacher is responsible for one of those seeds that was planted deep, and brought forth a bumper crop.

Rod Sivertsen, in 1976, took a trip from Burien, Washington, to Anaheim, California, with one of his former students along the Pacific Coast Highway. By bicycle. Forty days in the saddle, with lots of stops along the way. In 1979, I saw a slide show of this trip. It was the first time I'd really thought of a bicycle as a means of such long-distance movement, more than something to ride from A to B until I could drive. He claims it was a life-changing experience. I agree. Not just HIS life.

It was a spark that ignited into a great love for two-wheeled movement. Riding for me has been a lot of things -- a way to get to some places, a competitive outlet, a means of stress relief, a way to make some money, and a way to pass along some life lessons to those who might be ready to hear.

I always remembered that slide show. Not so much the pictures themselves, but the enjoyment, the life-affirming action, the adventure, and the love of riding.

And it wasn't until recently that I made the connection -- that one-hour as a 16 year old made a big difference in my life.

In my work with the Rock Steady youth triathlon team, I hope that I can pass along to some of them the joy of sport, of physical work, and two-wheeled movement in particular, as Rod did for me.

Rod is still alive and well, riding regularly, playing pickleball, living life with his wife Patty, and splitting his time between Arizona and Washington. And looks the same as he did all those years ago, plus a few more grey hairs.

Kind of like the salute given by Hawkeye and Honeycut in the final episode of M.A.S.H., it's a small gesture, but it's from the heart:

Rod -- thank you!

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