17“Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain – at least in a poor country like Russia – and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires… Life is not an easy matter… You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.” Leon Trotsky, Proletariat Bicyclist
What is that great idea that causes one to rise above personal misery? High ideals replace baser forms of motivation, such as vanity. If celebrating cycling doesn’t restore enthusiasm for riding and racing, chances are the hot wheels of summer are up in flames, and confidence has combusted to burn-out.
Typically, this occurs after some supra-goal meets a dead-end or path not worth taking. Like the impressive visual presentation created by crepes flambé at its dramatic point of preparation, the flames of desire extinguish both by unmet achievements or in a void that winning cannot fill. Burn-out often follows a long period of concentration to the exclusion of awareness of other realities typical of preparing and participating in cycling events. Interest and physical energy may diminish, circumstances may feel out of control, and solutions detached. Reality gets lost signaling the need for recovery.
Recovery restores physical energies but exhausted expectations need spiritual renewal as well. Spiritual priorities were re-set for me after a cycling goal baked my wheels flambé. Even with measured success, its ashes proved this wasn’t the right goal for me. Rather than pursue a flaming road of frustration, I stopped and took time to ride and ponder my reasons for membership in the cycling community. Burn-out wasn’t an option because cycling is a passionate calling for me. I expect to be hopeful within this community and through cycling. I prayed to find the right road again. The answer was a re-direct and one result are these writings. Any unmet cycling goal or lukewarm spirit is set aflame by persistent prayer – either with renewed determination or with redirected priorities about it.
Prayer re: Burn-Out
“Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame…cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.” 18Romans 12:11-12
We recognize vanity or improper worry about reputation cooks real living to a crisp. We pray harder listening for spiritual matches to set our cycling hearts aflame.
Ponder Am I burning-out by imbalanced rest, recreation and reasons for riding? Affirm Cycling is my job and a joy. Watch that focused riding is rejuvenated by God’s plan.
17Leon Trotsky posted on www.brainyquote.com. Trotsky was a Bolshevik and charter revolutionary in communist Russia who believed in Marxism applied as social democracy. His assassination by a Stalinist was only recently recognized as martyrdom for his divergent beliefs.
18The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson