I believe in ritual. To trace a day in my life would be to see me transition from one ritual to another, all day long. Each day is a set of monkey bars over my head, and each rung is a ritual. The floor below, of course, is lava. Reach, connect. Reach, connect. Reach, connect, and so-on. Don’t let go, I tell myself…


And just like the monkey bars when I was a kid on a playground, if I do miss a ritual, I’ll use momentum to swing a little harder toward the next rung before I’ll allow myself to fall. The only way I’ll end up in the lava is if I just give up and let go altogether.

Don’t give up.

As I’ve explored this more deeply — what my rituals are and why they matter so much, I’ve come to see the sum of my rituals adds up to my identity. And it’s the would-be loss of that identity that’s the real lava.

I write
I walk
I meditate
I take picture
I listen to books
I watch documentaries
I ride a bike
I work in the yard
I spent time with my pets
I spent time on social media
I eat
I spend time with my mom while I still can
I work to support myself

I do all of the above ritualistically, daily, and with the best of intentions.

A part of why I write this blog is to share these rituals and encourage others to be more active, more creative, and more positive, by being more ritualistic.

Making my living as a fitness trainer has also made me a de facto life coach for more than a few clients, friends, and social media contacts. I struggled with that for a long time, but have come to embrace it as an opportunity to encourage and share the positivity I seek myself through ritual.

Occasionally I’ll get a comment or a message from somebody who reads my shtick and suggests I’m just a showoff. I probably am showing off, some. But just as much, recreation and self-care is my livelihood — it’s what pays my bills. Teaching the values of exercise, recreation, and to a lesser degree, creativity, is my vocation and avocation — simultaneously.

Every time I share a picture of me walking in the woods with my dog, of my bicycle hanging from a fence post in front of a vineyard, or of a butterfly landed on the leaf of a tree in my yard, it’s my hope that somebody looking at it might be inspired to get outside more. It’s also my hope that somebody might see my pictures and posts and be inspired to use social media in more positive ways — less hate, more mindfulness.

When I write about revisiting my thoughts each day when I ride, it’s my intention to encourage others to take up the practice. Reflection is an absolute form of creativity. I hope everyone reading remembers they once rode a bike, and probably and probably associate those times with a purposeless freedom.

I’m not sure this happens, but it’s my cause and I’m committed to it.

I get it — there’s 7-billion people in the world not named Roy Cohen. That’s how it should be. But holy moly, couldn’t some of you try just a little bit harder to be a little bit more like me…?

This is what I think about when I ride…. Jhciacb

This Week By The Numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 7
194 miles
8,400’ climbing
14.5 mph avg
10,900 calories
13 hours 21 minutes seat time

Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there’s this from Ike Reilly. Enjoy…!

2 thoughts on “Ritual Above, Lava Below…

  1. Great photos! I probably do the ritual thing also, Roy. I do tend to think of my live as a table with a lot of legs. Some of them have been a bit wobbly these past couple of months.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As Doc said I too always dig your photos ! And the Jams ! Ah rituals,reminds me of my competitive football days.especially the night before and during game days. I had a series of OCD rituals which purposefully practiced religiously. It got my mind,body and soul prepared to perform. Fast forward to today, I continue few rituals inherited from my Japanese Mother and Islander Father,these actions are in my DNA,my rituals keep my mind in order and help prepare my day.

    Liked by 1 person

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