My intent is to keep this blog about photography, but today I'm going to mix it up a little. My photography is the sole purpose for having this site in the first place, so keeping on subject seems the best idea. However, like most people, I have more than one thing in my life that keeps my passions alive. That other thing for me is cycling.
I woke up this morning, like many others, and went through a routine that has become very familiar to me. I fed the dog, put on bib-shorts and jersey, filled the water bottle, and gathered my other gear in anticipation of hitting the road. After taking the dog out, I headed back outside, checked my tires, turned on lights and hopped on my bike. The mileage goal was forty.
Long story short, the mileage was not met. I hit a detour due to some construction and had to improvise on my plans. In the end, I ended up eight miles short of my goal, but I wasn't disappointed in the least. The real goal was met in full.
As I headed out it was overcast. I didn't see a call for rain, but I also know how random rain can be during summer in the south. Sure enough, the rain came, but luckily it wasn't a downpour and I continued on. I didn't realize it at the time, but pushing onward through sub-par weather and an unexpected detour would be the best thing to happen.
Here is where the comparison of photography and cycling meet for me. Both of these activities provide me with a way to meditate. Although the activities are very different, I get the same peace out in the world shooting by myself as I do alone on a country road in the rain.
Photography gives me a chance to look at the world around me and focus my thoughts visually. Sometimes it is evident in the images I come back with, other times it is not. Either way, though, I give myself time alone that allows me to focus on my thoughts, whether they are about the capturing of images or not.
The bike gives me the same focus. Like with photography, to accomplish what I want I have to be aware of what is going on around me. This, of course, is a little more important safety-wise on a bike than behind the camera, but being focused is important. It's this focus that allows me to really break down and simplify the thoughts in my head.
As I've mentioned before, I have the stereotypical artist's mind that tends not to want to slow down or shut off. By going out to shoot or to ride, I give myself an outlet to expel negative thoughts, focus on ideas, and, in my opinion, better myself.
I didn't get out to shoot today and I'm fine with that. I did, however, get a nice cleansing of rain and road dirt as I rode the back roads of South Carolina. I was able to focus myself on what was important and try to carry that through the rest of my day.
I hope that everyone else has something that gives them peace in their day.