For years fitness experts have been urging Americans to eat right, get plenty of exercise, drink enough water to quench the thirst of a camel, and sleep at least seven hours a night. Why? To maintain a healthy lifestyle. While I totally agree those things are key, there’s another part of the equation that’s easy to overlook: Having fun with a hobby.
There’s something about enjoying a recreational activity–be it scrap booking, fishing on Saturday morning, wood working, or playing Monopoly with the kids–that does wonders for the human spirit. Too many couples I know are drowning in the wall-to-wall duties of running a household. There’s no end to the “To Do” list which seems longer than the IRS tax code. Struggling to keep their head above the waterline of obligations, they’ve forgotten how to relax.
Recognizing my personal need to de-stress and unwind, I took up a new hobby last year: cruising the countryside on a Harley. A couple of weeks ago a group of us, ten guys in all, took the back roads to Vail, Colorado. Suited up in our leather duds we headed out Highway 24 at the crack of dawn, thundered our way along Rt. 285 to Rt. 9 through Leadville, and finally rumbled into Vail in time for lunch at the Route 6 Diner.
My riding mates included retired Major League Baseball legend Dave Dravecky who played for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants, and Frank Pastore (also a retired major leaguer) who pitched for Cincinnati and Minnesota. Their conversation was fun to listen to as they told story after story about the game I’ve loved since I was a kid. I was particularly interested to learn about the unlikely men in the league who became Christians, including Frank’s story.
You see, Frank used to bash believers. He had no use for their faith in God. Somewhere along the way a friend challenged Frank to disprove Christianity–a task he gladly accepted. However, in his quest to debunk the Christian faith, Frank struck out. Unable to discredit the claims of Christ, he gave his heart to God. (By the way, if you are unsure of your spiritual destiny, why not take up the challenge of proving that Jesus was wrong. I think you’ll come to the same conclusion as Frank.)
A funny thing happened while we were gassing up the bikes in Buena Vista. A seventy-ish lady pulled up alongside of our parked bikes and said, “I’ve always wanted to ride on the back of a Harley.” Frank offered to give her a ride–and she accepted! As Frank and this woman peeled out of the parking lot, her husband jumped out of their SUV. With a sheepish grin, he said, “I sure hope she comes back!”
Unfortunately, I had to cut my trip short in order to get back to Colorado Springs for a dinner meeting. One of the guys volunteered to keep me company. Pressed for time, we had to push hard if I were to make my appointment. We didn’t stop for 100 miles. That’s when my riding buddy ran out of gas out in the middle of nowhere! Thankfully, we discovered a gas station about one mile down the road. Talk about God’s mercy. I landed at the restaurant with five minutes to spare.
We’ve got another ride planned for next month. I can’t wait. While riding a “Hog” isn’t for everyone, I hope you discover a fun way to relax and recreate, too.