This morning’s workout was a Doozy (notice the capital D). Two hours and eleven minutes on the indoor bike trainer. I’m not a Zwift or Sufferfest subscriber, so that was over two hours of riding by myself staring at the floor and at the wall and at the little paint chip on my top tube. The one saving grace was the music.
Music can be some powerful stuff. All it takes is one song to put you in the right frame of mind or ruin your whole day. Even though the playlist was done after the first hour, it ended with a song that carried me back to 2003 and made me relive one of my minor regrets in life. I’m warning you now that this story might be upsetting to some readers, especially those who can’t read.
Lori and I were traveling to Denmark for my work. We left Chicago, laid over in London and landed in Brussels where we would make our final connection. Getting off the plane near last meant walking the long hallway to port of entry behind everyone else, which meant being last in line to get our passports stamped. Of the two lines at port of entry we chose the one on the left.
The scene around us turned surreal as the line shortened. Travelers quickly passed through the port and the area became strangely quiet and lonely. I looked back down the hallway from where we came and saw four or five more travelers approaching us. These stragglers were lumbering along as they carried oversized luggage and upon reaching the port, I could see that these were no ordinary people: these were musicians.
The musicians took their place in the line on the right: right next to us. Something was oddly familiar about them. Had I been anywhere else, I might have recognized them immediately. However, standing in line to show my passport to a government agent after a day of travel, my mind was not too clear. Just as Lori and I stepped up to see our agent, I recognized them: Los Lobos.
I wanted so badly to shake their hands and thank them for the profound influence they had on my life almost 20 years earlier. Their popular song, “Will The Wolf Survive?”, kept me from losing my mind as I plowed acre after acre little more than a mile from our border with Mexico. I heard that song at least four times a day. It gave me perspective into an entire world that was right across the Colorado River, less than a mile from me. The song challenged me to reach outside my comfort zone and see the world with a more compassionate eye.
I suppose I could have told the customs agent to wait a minute while I gushed over this group of musicians that I had admired for so long. But I didn’t. I think I may have whispered something to Lori about them and then we moved on and didn’t see them again.
I regret not saying something to them. But in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter, because at the moment I came back from 2003 into 2020, I had only one job: finish the day’s training. Now that I’ve finished my 131 minutes of indoor cycling and 30 minutes of outdoor running, maybe I’ll see about tickets to Los Lobos 2020 tour.
Stay to the right, pass on the left and keep on smiling