Dr. Syed Hyder is not only my physician, but also my really good friend with whom I like to ride mountain bikes. He and Sandy McKee and I rode Laurel Mountain the other day on a truly glorious day. Syed and I usually ride up together in my Jeep and we have really great discussions on a myriad of topics from healthy eating, to planning the next mountain bike trip together with our pals. Looking at the beautiful sunshine on the way up through Rector, Linn Run and up the mountain to the parking lot at the ski area, we remarked how great it is to take advantage not only of a great day, but a truly spectacular venue with the mountain laurel just about to burst forth in full bloom. Then per his usual custom, Syed became philosophical which is where he truly shines in my book. He said it is so important to ……….” expand the present.”
I like to listen to Syed and although I am a talker, I make it my business to listen when Syed speaks. I asked him to comment on “expand the present” and his logic was insightful. He said, we need to really enjoy days like we had at Laurel. Enjoy the moments, and really try to get as much out of the day as possible. Little things like enjoying the cool temperatures, the absolute perfection of the trails, and the challenge of Spruce Run which always takes a backseat in conversation to Wolf Rocks. As we pounded the Spruce Run rock section, Syed remarked that he thought it was as challenging if not more challenging than Wolf Rocks, especially where it comes at you at the latter part of the ride. But expanding the present in that sense, is to really enjoy the challenge, enjoy your body working to maintain balance, and relish in the aftermath of making it through a tough part of the ride. Syed likes to ride every tough section, and in his mind, he is expanding the present through his experiences. He and Sandy and I really enjoyed the scenery out at the Wolf Rocks overlook and I observed Syed looking off into the distance truly reveling in the moment. He said to me later that not only is it important to expand the present, but to “retract the future and the past.” That meaning that you really can’t do much about the past other than learn from experience, and nothing can be done about the future so why worry or spend time on what will happen. Enjoy the moment, enjoy the day you are given, as it is all really a wonderful gift. Too many of us worry about what will happen tomorrow, next month, or next year, and let the current state of affairs slip out of our hands. Enjoy each day as it comes and make the most of it. Expand the present.
Thinking about what Syed said, as I write this on Memorial Day, I think about expanding the present and thinking about what a great country we have. The opportunities are boundless if we enjoy the moment and the days as we get them. Freedom is not free and when I think about the guys that made it possible for us to truly enjoy our freedom and make the most out of our daily lives, I can really” expand the present” because I have the freedom to do so. I can ride in the Laurels on a sunny day, I can worship when and wherever I choose, I can enjoy my family without any dangers or issues that arise in countries that are not free. They don’t have the chance to expand the present.
Think about those veterans who gave their lives today. Think about the great opportunities we have as a result of their sacrifice. We can enjoy our days because of what they did. Enjoy your day today. Thanks for reading.