All the Road’s a Stage
64“Bike racing is so intense, its dramatic lifestyle so difficult. I commend anyone who sustains energy and life at the top of it.” Marlen Wells, Cofounder of International Christian Cycling Club
And we are merely players in this drama. Every epic story has a Hero struggling to save the Beauty against the Antagonist in a fight of good versus evil. It’s easy to idolize cycling’s heroes and demonize our fallen. The truth is we’re all a bit of both, and any sound theology preaches that there is only One transcendent truly able to evaluate. Cycling is a Beauty caught in a spiritual struggle: a tragedy and a comedy whose ending we have free will to script.
Every rider, team, event is loaded with emotional interest. Bicycle characters, stunning backdrops and quirky directors are inspired entertainment. The other “motion picture” known as the peloton has a life: it sighs and wheezes and pounces and pauses. Sometimes the drama occurs outside the race in a struggle for resources and reputation.
The best of cycling use the theatrical nature of bike racing and its lifestyle for inspired performance. Fostering self-control and enthusiasm is part of targeting one’s optimal zone of intensity. Even if the drama of riding plucks excitement to exhaustion and thrills lead to spills, champions can marshal an onslaught of uncontrollable circumstances to produce what’s needed. Like a star actor feeding on the energy of other acclaimed actors, champions gather energy from the dramatic peloton. A theater of improvisation, the drama rolls on unwritten and the champions devise its stories spontaneously before its audience.
This degree of constant uncertainty, taking of new ground, learning on the fly, requires a special skill set. Important skills for champion emotions are listening, clarifying, confidence, and performing instinctively, spontaneously with a loose script. The impetus to endure the drama need only be because it’s road racing, beloved and beautiful – sometimes hateful and ugly – always tragedy and comedy.
Prayer re: Drama
“The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives…” 65Luke 3:16
We are exhilarated by cycling’s zest. We enjoy its spontaneity and its uncertainty even while scripting our parts in it. We pray for winning skills to endure until the final act.
Ponder Is my enthusiasm for cycling consistent? Affirm I manage my zeal. Watch the part you play in your chapter of the bigger cycling story.
64Conversations with Marlen Wells. Marlen was influenced by Klaus Jesse, a German national champion cyclist and founder of a faith-based team for Sportler ruft Sportler http://www.srsonline.de
65The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson