I know you are probably not surprised to hear that I thrive on inspirational stories. Stories of individuals, communities, non-profits, and groups of any sort that are on a mission to make this world a bit more loving and kind and more than that, hopeful.
One of my clients was telling me about a group of men that he recently joined up with that have given me that inspirational shiver and I’d like to tell you a bit about the ALFW men.
ALFW stands for Aging Like Fine Wine. Great name for a group of guys who have come together to raise money for a number of notable charities via their cycling team.
These men are in their mid to late 50’s who over the past 8 years in an effort to stay in shape and support worthy causes have ridden their bikes all over New England and beyond raising over $100,000 dollars for foundations that support research and well-being for those who are living with or experienced medical, physical and emotional challenges or family trauma.
It may seem like a huge commitment to make to be on one of these cycling teams, with trainings, time away from their day to day lives, not to mention, spending a whole weekend on a bike trek, but, I know their secret. I know what makes them tick and its powerful stuff.
The men of ALFW have all the engaging elements of happiness that keep this team together and riding.
They are part of a vibrant community which gives them positive relationships with one another. I know from getting together with groups of women that the deep connections, the laughter, the comradery and the lingering sense of belonging to something beyond little old me, is extremely powerful.
They are involved in a number of projects that are deeply meaningful. These cycling experiences and the money they raise, the people they meet and the families they support become a part of their sustainable energy that is so rewarding.
The rewards also become a dynamic sense of accomplishment and when you get to the end of one of these 100 mile bike rides, in all sorts of weather and traffic conditions, I imagine these guys must feel absolutely amazing.
Thriving on this type of adrenaline rush is good for us versus the adrenaline that too often gets released as fuel for the fast paced, stressed out and overwhelmed lives that are such a recurring part of our day.
Then there is the zone. That beautiful place of flow, where time, space, to- do lists all get suspended in “the ride.” The zone is such a sweet spot and I for one could use more daily experiences in that sustaining place of “being,” focusing less on what I am actually “doing.” Fully immersed, with focused energy, fully involved in the process of activity that fills me up and refuels my creativity, my productivity and my love of life.
So, I get it, I know why the men of Aging Like Fine Wine do what they do and I would like to challenge each of you do be inspired by this story and look for those places in your life that need some connection, meaning, accomplishment, good times with good friends, being in the flow, giving your time and energy to a cause, or anything else that makes our world more loving, kind, compassionate and joyful.
Please share your experiences with me. Like I said, I thoroughly enjoy those inspirational shivers!