Recently while on a run, I chose a path that is full of rolling hills. It’s a challenge but it’s also one of my most scenic routes, thus one of my favorites.
As I was approaching the top of a hill, three girls (teens I would guess) came out of a driveway on bikes. It’s safe to assume they weren’t cyclists (wearing jeans, t-shirts, no helmets) but rather out for a leisure Saturday morning ride. I watched as they went down a hill.
One of the girls took the lead and was enjoying the sweet ride down the hill! She kept turning her head to see if her friends were following. They looked like they were having a blast cruising down the steep hill. They even did the “look Mom, no hands” thing. It really is true about riding a bike. Once you learn how, you can quickly pick up the skill you learned as a kid.
But then something happened. The bottom of the hill meant a swift incline towards the next uphill climb and the leader quickly lost her enthusiasm. Her friends passed her. She instantly lost the joy she had just felt from the cruise downhill. I watched her get off her bike with a look of despair.It wasn’t easy anymore, therefore, it wasn’t fun.
It made me think about anything in life. Sometimes we are cruising downhill and everything is fun. Everything is going as planned. You have incredible momentum. But for every downhill, there is sure to be an uphill climb. Almost certainly, life will bring challenges, obstacles, hills to climb.
But you must keep going, keep climbing. You learn your best lessons on the uphill climb. You really have to dig deep to get through it and when you make it to the top again, you grow so much. You learn so much about yourself. Most lessons in life are not learned when you’re in cruise control, riding swiftly, without much effort. It’s during those times, that you MUST focus on gratitude. Appreciate it. When faced with inclines, you can’t quit or give up. You slow down, put your bike into a higher gear and keep going, learning and overcoming. It will make you stronger.