Monday, February 4, 2008

For all the Money in the World

As much as I enjoy PF and building wealth, I have always placed health and fitness at a higher level. I would rather have my health than money. We have all heard that money is worthless, without your health. Those words are more than a cliché and it's not just talk, I live that statement. From time to time, I plan to write posts about health and fitness and how it can add riches to your life.

A key element to my fitness routine is my bicycle. No bike ride is ever the same, it seems every ride has its memorable events. You just can’t pedal 20 miles and not see something or have something notable happen.

Yesterday as I was riding, a motorist that was behind me slowed to allow a car to pass before he/she passed me on my bike. It only took a moment, but it made the situation much safer for all. As he/she passed, I waved and thanked them. I thanked them for treating me like the human being that they would want to be treated like in the same situation.

Before I say anymore, I know a lot of you get upset when bicycle riders take up the whole lane or ride in large groups and give no consideration to motorists trying to pass them. I don’t like that behavior, either. But, that is no reason to take it out on all riders – some of us are responsible and just want to share the road.

I typically track the outside white line whenever possible, but sometimes I am forced over into the lane. There are lots of reasons to have to take that added risk - potholes, dogs, abandoned vehicles (this is Texas, after all), joggers/walkers, road debris, and trash all pose road hazards to a cyclist. The take away is that no matter what someone else has done to you today, choose the high road and act like the person that you have always wanted to be.

Later in my ride, I was so thrilled with the boost in creativity and energy from exercising outdoors, that I did not even mind when a dog took chase. I noticed he was an Australian shepherd mix and so probably smarter than the average canine. I decided to use a different tactic – instead of shouting for him to back off to show dominance, or squirting him with water, I would use kind words…... As he raced along side me in the grass, barking and occasionally lunging at me, I told him he was a good boy, a good dog. He quickly changed course and shot off straight for a point ahead of us – uh oh. Perhaps he plans to cut me off? And then like most dogs he screeched to an abrupt halt at the boundary edge of his home turf. He barked at me a couple more times for good measure then sent me on my way.

Nothing like a good dog chase to bring you right back in the moment. All of your other problems and worries vanish. Some dogs are relentless, others are just eager to play. I have been fortunate in over 30 years of riding on the road - No dog related crashes, just a scratchy throat from shouting and a racing heart from trying to outrun the chasers. All in all it was another great day on a bicycle!

For more on personal finance check out the Carnival of debt reduction. My article: How I paid off my Home with a HELOC was included this week.

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