I like a challenge.
I live atop a mountain. A little mountain. A big hill really. It’s a 3 km climb home from all directions.
Recently, I’ve challenged myself further. There is a short, steep climb near home. I don’t need to climb it to get home, but in the past few weeks, I’ve added this climb to the finish of every ride. I’m usually tired. Never feel like doing it. But always seem to post a good time, and glad I did it.
Today was no different. Well, there was a difference. As I was labouring up the steep section, I passed a young man and woman pushing their bikes up the hill. As I passed them, I overheard the man say to his partner “by the end of the summer, we’ll be riding up here”.
This got me thinking about goals.
We need goals to stay focused, and give us hope. Otherwise, what is the point? Without hope, life has no value. That’s what makes us human – finding hope, even in times of adversity.
Goals are relative. What’s easy for some, is a big challenge for others. What’s important to one race, has no value to another. But it doesn’t matter how well someone else does. It’s only important that we have a goal, work at it, and slowly progress toward it.
Goals are both personal, and collective. Groups of all sorts have common goals. Cyclists want to ride faster, and longer distances. Golfers want to lower their scores. Bakers want to make that perfect sourdough loaf, and knitters that beautiful sweater. Individually, we simply want to get better.
It doesn’t matter that the KOM for the hill near my home is twice as fast as my personal best. I’ll never beat it. But it doesn’t matter. As long as I progress, and record more PR’s on the hill, I’ll remain focused, and have hope that I can get better.