This post was initially published April 17, 2013. I have thought of it frequently since. I am cycling more this year and am confronted with climbs from all directions. There is no way to escape them. And, I don’t want to.
I live atop a mountain. A little mountain. A hill really. A big hill. Each direction I turn is down hill. Every trip out is a descent; every trip back, a climb. This little mountain has been my salvation.
I prefer to walk and cycle. I tell everyone it is good for my health, good for the environment and, simply more fun. Descents are easy and fun. Climbs are more difficult. They tax my legs, heart, stamina and determination. This little mountain has strengthened my body, spirit and resolve. I look forward to the trip home. It is a challenge. And, after 30 years, it is as enjoyable as ever. Perhaps more so.
Weekdays I ride public transit to work and walk home in the evening. It is a 60 – 90 minute walk depending on the route and stops made along the way. The weather makes no difference. I am always prepared. Rain pants, scarf, gloves, sun glasses and touque are in my bag. I often shop along the way and explore new routes. I know the side streets better than most.
On the weekends I ride. Every cycling route finishes with a 3 km climb back to the house. A steady climb. Only 2 blocks are steep, enough to get me out of the saddle. I challenge myself each and every time. How quickly can I reach the top? What average speed can I maintain? At what speed can I crest the steepest part? The climb is actually easier today than it was 5 years ago. That is in part due to technology. I have a better ride. But I also like to think that I am continually improving my fitness.
This little mountain has been my salvation. Every step and revolution has tested me. Tested my strength. And, tested my resolve. Many times I felt too tired, too weak or too sick. I persevered. And, always completed the climb.
Life is finding mountains to climb, facing new challenges and dispelling fears.
Do you have a mountain to climb?