My new hobby

My friend Miles owns a CrossFit gym in Smyrna. He always likes to ask other CrossFit owners what it is their hobby. For most CrossFit owners, the answer is the same — ‘I don’t have one.’ CrossFit is their hobby and their job. I was the same way for a long time. Then I found mountain biking. 

While I love being in the gym and working out, I also enjoy being outdoors. I’ve done the running thing, I’m not much of a water person, so being outdoors seemed like a good place. 

I met with some guys to go mountain biking at Fort Yargo in November. It was a sunny 60 degrees outside. The leaves were in full autumn color. It was awesome. I hopped on that bike and it’s been an awesome ride ever since. The next week I purchased my own bike and I’ve been riding almost every weekend for the last four months. 

One thing I’ve learned about mountain biking is it’s a lot like life. Let me explain. 

When you’re mountain biking you’re going over roots and rocks. These are the bumps in life. Nothing great, but nothing horrible. Sometimes it’s best to navigate through the rocks and roots slowly. Other times it’s best to just go as fast as you can.  

You have some really steep inclines. The kind that burns your legs and raises your heart rate to cause heavy breathing. This is the adversity in life. The things that make life tough and unenjoyable at times. 

Once you get to the top of the hill, it either levels out or you have a decline. That’s the fun part when you are going fast. These are the good times in life, when everything seems like it’s going your way. 

Then all of the sudden you hit a root or a rock, or maybe you clip a tree and you fall. You’re OK, but it hurts. It doesn’t hurt forever, but you need a moment to recompose yourself. This is the life changing stuff like losing a job or a loved one. 

But what do you do next? You get back on that bike and keep riding. That’s all you can do. No one is going to do it for you. It’s just like in life. No one is going to hold your hand through every tough decision you make. 

Then when you finish the ride and realize you have completed so many miles it’s very rewarding. It’s like getting a promotion at work or a loved one telling you good job. It feels good.

So now when Miles asks me ‘What’s your hobby?’ I say mountain biking. What hobbies do you have?

— Coach Brandon