We rode about 90 miles today, crossing into Alabama at Pascagoula and crossing the mouth of Mobile Bay via the Mobile Ferry from Daphin Island. A beautiful, flat, windy ride with seagulls and pelicans leading the way. Actually, David led the way, and for the first half of the ride I rode frenetically to keep up with him. Maybe he’s a stronger rider or maybe he’s less affected by wind and rough pavement but either way I was working hard to keep up.

At a certain point I decided to drop back and within seconds I was more relaxed. I could see the road and scenery in front of me—it became my ride and not a crazy chase to keep up with him. In running we talk about “running your own race” as there is never a good outcome when you get caught up in someone else’s race pace. In life, we use the expression “keeping up with the Joneses” (an expression made popular as the name of a comic strip from 1913-1938). As with running and biking, it doesn’t usually end well when your focus becomes keeping up with someone else rather than doing what works best for you. I kept my own pace for the second half of today and toward the end David joined me and we rode side by side into beautiful Orange Beach after enjoining a sno-cone and catch up with my Aunt Eleanor, cousin Laura and her daughter in Gulf Shores. We ended our day watching a colorful sunset from the balcony of my friend Stephanie’s lovely beach house. Life is good, and even better when lived on your own terms.

– Isabella