Do you ever find yourself wanting to experience more of life? Wanting to really soak in every experience? How can you shift your life to really take it ALL in? I’ve learned over the years that there are a few ways to become a true experience seeker. I’ve taken on a minimalist way of thinking, and in many ways, wanting and having less, has added so much abundance to my life.
I don’t crave things. I don’t attribute happiness to ownership or possessions. Yes I like nice things, and yes I own nice things, but I don’t allow these things to dictate how I am feeling. How I interact with the world. Part of the reason why I attempt and complete endurance events and adventure experiences is that I want to take advantage of every wonderful opportunity that life offers.
And so this week I challenge you to be a less little focused on things, and a little more focused on experiences. Can you structure your weekend to include more genuine, quality interactions with friends and family? Can you minimize your holiday stress by eliminating items from your gift list?
This week my new experience was track cycling. I had always been intrigued by cyclists who raced on the track – there was something fascinating about riding on an angled track and racing so closely to other athletes. There was also something inherently beautiful about the speedy pace lines. I wanted to know more about the sport, and discovered that there was an introductory course at the Milton Velodrome, just outside of Toronto. The velodrome was built and used at the Pan Am Games in Toronto in 2015, so the facility is new and modern, and a perfect place to explore this new sport for the first time. I invited some friends and we all eagerly took our first certification classes this weekend.
Curious to try it out? The first part of the certification course is 3 hours long, split up into two sessions. You bring your cycling gear (or fitness clothing), shimano or look compatible cycling shoes (or runners) and your helmet. Don’t forget a water bottle too – the velodrome is quite hot and the workout is definitely sweat inducing! You can be a complete beginner but most riders were road cyclists or triathletes who wanted to try something new. Only one guy in our group had previous track cycling experience, and we all felt comfortable handling a road bike. The instructors were great – very knowledgeable, and attentive to our differing levels and needs.
The strangest feeling was to ride a fixed gear bike with no brakes. Not to mention racing up and down a wall! But you quickly get the hang of it, once you realize that riding this bike is not exactly like riding any other bike! There is a lot of thought and strategy in this sport – how to pace yourself correctly, how to lead a pace line, and how to speed up and slow down using the wall, rather than your brakes or gears. Trust me, it’s fun and thrilling!
And so, with this one new experience checked off, will I continue on to the second part of the certification? Although some of my friends would answer with a resounding YES (Have you bought that TT bike yet Shawn?), I have to think about whether it is realistic for me to add in an activity that is an hour away, and whether I would actually use the membership to the velodrome.
The investment of the two part course allows you to use the drop-in sessions. You still need to rent a bike (or bring your own) and pay for the drop-in, and/or for the membership dues. You have the option of renting out lockers for convenient storage, and you can also use their walking/running track, and fitness facilities.
For now I will complete the second part so as to be fully certified, then see how the track cycling fits into my schedule. I’m happy I tried something outside of my comfort zone, and added in an additional experience into my life repertoire.
What will you add to your experience list? Have you always wanted to try something that was a little or a lot out of your comfort zone? Add abundance to your life by focusing more so on experiences than on things. Let me know what you choose to try! I would love to add a few more cool, new, and different activities to my list.
Happy minimalism-ing and experiencing!