Ecclesiastes and the Green Jersey

King Solomon is considered in the Bible to be the wisest man that has ever lived. He had more wealth and more leisure time than not only any man of his time, but our time as well.  Solomon used his time to rule a kingdom and write down words of wisdom.  He often wrote about what is meaningless and what is good. In the end of his lament, he concluded that undertaking great projects, building parks and reservoirs, amassing wealth, and any delight of a man’s heart proves to be meaningless.  Yet, he doesn’t stop there.  He gives guidance for all of us as to how to live our lives.  In Ecclesiastes 2:24 he states, “a person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their toil.”

Today while riding in the virtual world within the software program of Zwift, I earned the coveted green jersey. For those non-cyclists here, let me explain. In each of the worlds grand cycling tours (Giro D’Italia, Vuelta Espana, Tour de France, Tour of California, etc.) there are classifications for the top riders.  This is no different than how we in America claim which quarterback or which linebacker is the best, on any given Sunday, using statistics.   Using an example from the cycling world (Tour of France), the best overall rider wears a yellow jersey; the best mountain climber wears a polka dot jersey; and the best sprinter wears a green jersey. Normally each of these is a different rider with different skills.  I have never considered myself to be a strong sprinter.  Climber?  Yes!  Sprinter?  No way-there are too many young guns out there with fast twitch muscles that I just don’t have.

In front of signParticipating in this virtual training has some requirements.  You must attach your bicycle to a stationary trainer that creates resistance as if you were riding on the road.  You sit on it and pedal as if you were outdoors, riding on a brisk spring day.  Since you aren’t outside, we rely on electronics attached both to the bicycle that measures power and cadence, as well as a heart rate monitor to measure aerobic effort. Each persons’ efforts are run through an algorithm to determine the equivalent speed as if we were outdoors.  It isn’t exact, but the calculation is within a percent or two.  Today, during my ride, I passed under a banner that indicated my speed during a specific interval was being calculated and ran through this algorithm.  I have passed under those blow-up markers a hundred times, and nothing ever happened.  This time, though, my jersey changed to green and the icon representing me changed to green as well, indicating that I now had more Sprint points than any current rider. I had never seen this before and quickly glanced at the statistics screen on the right. It showed that there were currently 1042 riders all participating in the same event that I was.

Holy screaming pedals, Bat Man   Woo hoo!  My mind immediately shifted to Ecclesiastes 2:24. I had most certainly been toiling during the last 45 minutes as my heart rate was near threshold and I was pouring sweat, even with the doors open in the basement the ambient temperature in the room in the low 40s. Out loud I stated, “I shall now find satisfaction in my toil. Thank you, King Solomon, for your help today.”

It is commonplace for people who do not understand holy Scripture to ask simplistic questions such as does that stuff really apply today? Today I was reminded of the importance of enjoying my toils while I still could have them. There will be a day when I can no longer ride a bicycle. I do not know when that day is. However, if at 51 years old I can be the fastest sprinter in a group of 1000, I will take it and celebrate!

Time for some yogurt, blueberries, and granola, and maybe I will do it again soon!

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