Robin Williams is quoted as saying that cycling was his “mobile meditation” and the “closest a human can get to flying.” As a cyclist myself, the flight analogy seems particularly apropos. One of the many things that fascinates me about bike racing is the element of collective survival through cooperation. The Tour de France essentially amounts to running a marathon, full blast, up the side of mountain, for 21 days, which is to say- it is an impossible journey to do own your own. Riders participate in teams designed to help each other with tightly honed drafting techniques as well as much needed emotional support. Just like migratory birds gather and organize into a flying V pattern to essentially carry each other on journeys that would otherwise be impossible, so do cyclists.
To stop the parallel there though, in my estimation, sells scope of the analogy short. All of us face arduous uphill journeys during periods of our lives that are impossible to endure on our own. Instead of drafting strategies and bottle carrying duties we carry each other with inspiration, hugs, and tears during uphill climbs. No different than the sandhill crane or great white pelican, humans are the “survival of the nurtured” not just survival of the fittest.
This week find joy in how we can lift each other up on our collective flights.