Chris Bowling

Dear reader,

For two years now, I’ve started (mostly) every morning the same way.

I hit the snooze button on my phone a few times before trudging out of bed a full 30 minutes or so after the intended time. That usually turns into a 10 minute dash to shower, dress, brush my teeth and stuff my pockets with enough provisions to make it through the day before leaving for my first class.

Depending on the weather, I’m either wearing pants and a jean jacket or maybe shorts and a t-shirt as I walk down the stairs toward my last morning ritual.

My bike.

I’ve ridden my red road bike the 2 miles it takes to get to class for two years. It’s a simple $60 Craigslist-bought piece of metal and rubber that creaks when you pedal and can’t change gears, but it’s one of my favorite possessions.

When I’m on my bike, crossing paths, speeding down hills and taking in crisp morning air, it’s some of the only respite I get from a reality that’s becoming increasingly hectic.

Every few minutes seems like something new begins to demand our attention. From typos in tweets, up to connections between the White House and Russia, they all facilitate themselves in little alerts, buzzes and notifications that never seem to abate.

If you try to follow them, it’s like fan blades on a ceiling: you’ll get dizzy. But it’s also impossible to turn off.

The happy medium I’ve found is between the hours of 8:30 and 10 a.m. when I can put in my earbuds and turn it all off for a bit. Uninterrupted time where I can mull over thoughts for minutes rather than the nanoseconds they’re allowed elsewhere or simply absorb my surroundings in new ways.

It’s not going to change the world. It won’t radically affect anyone else’s life or give me perspective on how to fix the world’s problems. But I’ve found in recent months that some time alone is good for you. It’s something everyone should seek out, whether it comes on wheels or not, because it’s necessary for the soul.

Thanks for reading,

Chris Bowling

Senior News Editor