For Mother's Day I was gifted a pair of Rapha cycling shorts from Tony. Opening anything from Rapha is an occasion because they have paid attention to every single detail from the photographic box, to the tissue paper, to the card. You feel like you are being treasured and invited on an adventure, which is precisely what I love about being on my bike.
That said, my first comment in seeing the shorts was, "But I haven't earned these yet."
Rapha clothes are an investment, and I'm just barely getting into cycling. Compared to Tony who has changed his whole lifestyle and health to live the sport, I can hardly call myself committed. Tony said to me, "Now is when you need them more than ever. Getting started on a bicycle needs to be comfortable so you'll stick with it."
I decided then and there to completely embrace my gift and enjoy every minute of my time in these shorts. I would live my way into them and they would become my own treasure with my own riding stories.
So imagine my surprise when I went to try them on and I found on the inside was a small paragraph of words relaying the story of one woman's trip up a mountain on her bike. I stood their half naked in my closet, reading every word and relishing in the fact that Rapha gets it and this woman gets it and Tony gets it, and I too get it, and that is precisely why the shorts do belong to me and are already invaluable to me.
What is it we all "get" you may be asking? We get that life is enjoyable when it is experienced in the context of story. Life is enjoyable when YOU get to become the center of the story - the main character. And not only that, but when YOU get to alter the plot, tweak the settings, and play with the resolutions. It's not just a bicycle. They're not just a pair of shorts. They are my tools towards creating an adventure that has yet to be lived out and can only be lived out by me.
In The Magic School 101 we talk about these parts of story and how learning to play with them gives you magic to alter your own living. When I rode my bicycle last week and yelled out on a hilly country road, "Come on legs. You can do this!" I felt so alive. I felt like I had earned my shorts and then some. And this is how every day of living feels like to me. I can't wait to see where the story goes. I have so much creative control.