Monday, July 6, 2015

It's the climb

          The past few weeks have been filled with some extreme challenges, but sometimes it's nice to take a short ride just for fun.

     I found the perfect ride to do, and that is a 6 AM ride from the start of the Greenbelt Parkway to the Craig Street bridge and back.  My riding buddy has exactly 45 minutes to ride and it's a perfect 6 mile ride.

     We pick it up just outside Downtown Toledo, therefore we have no traffic, but a condensed version of the perfect ride.

     We have the feel of a real bike trail...

     And then it's as though we're riding through a very calm park.

     But before you know it you're on one of the most difficult obstacle courses imaginable.

       Riding under the expressway means you have to focus on a steep, curvy, downward hill, at rocket speed, only to climb another very steep hill back up; all while dodging a million rocks and glass that happened to have fallen from the highway above.

     But this is a great challenge for me, because I really need to practice shifting; of course, by dodging the obstacles I can try to focus on all of my strengths, rather than my weaknesses. 

     There was a day when I hated climbing hills because my right leg wasn't cooperating. But now I just make my left leg work harder, and by down shifting I have to pedal faster, though not as hard.  After much determination I discovered I'm not as week as I thought I was.

    I also remember a time where I didn't want to ride anywhere but straight and flat.  The safe routes were my comfort zone.  If there were obstacles in the road I began to panic because it meant I had to veer off the beaten path. Now I know obstacles just make me stronger.

     It's a good feeling to make it to the Craig street bridge because I already gave myself a great challenge, but I know there's not enough time to go over the bridge and back.  That bridge is exhausting and I'm not gonna lie, I'm secretly thrilled to not have time to cross it...

     However, last Friday we must have started a couple minutes earlier or rode faster or something, because we got to that crazy bridge and we were about ten minutes ahead of schedule.  My riding buddy said "Hey, we have just enough time to cross the bridge and turn around, then head back".  Hellooo... why in the world would I want to do that?!?!

     But I didn't have a good enough excuse for why we couldn't, except that I didn't want to climb that extra hill for nothing.  So I smiled and said okay...

     As I huffed and puffed up that hill I had begrudgingly agreed to, I started thinking that I'm going to have to do it all over again when I get to the other side... UGH!

      We made it to the top of the bridge and to the right I could see downtown Toledo.

 But as I looked to the left I saw a view that made that climb all worth while...

                         It was the most beautiful sunrise! 

      Of course, we didn't have time to stop and take a picture of it as well as ride to the other side of the bridge and back; so I decided it wasn't about getting to the other side, it was the journey. And the view from the top was much more amazing than what was on the other side.

     Life sometimes feels like an uphill battle and we seem to always focus on the coast at the end.  But sometimes we try so hard to make it to the end that we forget that it isn't all about where we end up...

 It's the climb!

Have a great day!!


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