Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Hill In Front of You

Sometimes it's good just to go back to the beginning. Years ago, when a friend of mine took me on my first "real" bike ride, I rode a relatively hilly route between Montgomery and Richards Texas, through the Sam Houston National forest. Although I was at least five years younger than I am today, and the weather was a lot cooler that October morning, I had to be rescued from the predictable "bonk." I thought I might never ride again.
Today part of my long ride covered that very same route, and a lot more besides. The morning woke warm and humid, You could almost see the air, especially when the newly risen sun sliced through pines of the forest. Sometimes it was so still, not a twig stirred. All I could hear was the sound of my chain, my tires, and my breathing.
This ride not only covered more miles than my first trip down that road; it covered more mental real estate as well. I've got a decision to make. Some of you who know me (or at least the blog me) might have an inkling what that decision is. For me it's a tough decision because it is dream and an effort I don't know that I am ready for. Moreover, it is a commitment that will affect other people besides myself. I haven't made the decision yet, but the ride gave me some tools that might come in handy.
1. Start where you are. It's the only place you can start. Watching the clock or wishing you were closer to your goal is wasted energy. Goals are only reached if you start. Ready or not, you can only start where you are.
2. Use what you have. Sure it might be nice to be bigger, stronger, faster . . . but all I've got is me, my bike and the stuff I brung with me. Waiting for perfect conditions results only in waiting.
3. Climb the hill in front of you. There are a lot of rollers and hills between Montgomery and Richards, but thinking about the one you see down the road or the one you know round the bend does not serve to get you up the hill that is under your tires. Those hills can only be climbed one at a time, and the best way to climb them is to have your brain and your body both climbing the same hill at the same time.
If I can manage that, maybe . . . just maybe. . .


Spokane Al said...

I agree with your fine words completely. Worrying about what might have been, or what we should have done, or where we might end up wastes energy. This is not to say that planning is not important, just that worrying is not planning.

21st Century Mom said...

I think a lot of us are contemplating that same 'thing'. And you are correct. All you can do is figure out where you are and where you might like to go and whether or not all aspects of your life can be coordinated to allow you to make the effort it will take to get there.

I say "all you do" but I don't pretend it is all that easy.

TriSaraTops said...

One hill at a time...and look straight ahead, never up...and remember your strength and how many miles are behind you.

And you KNOW what I am thinking about what you're thinking.

Iron Pol said...

Grey, make sure you let me know if you come to a decision. While your's won't make mine, it might help.

This post is something to which many can probably relate. A later part of one of my 20 mile routes goes on a 1.5 mile stretch I used when first starting to run. It nearly killed me each time I ran it. Now, it is merely one tiny part of my longest training runs.

I spent a great deal of the nearly 3 hours of today's 20 miler contemplating the exact decision you face. I know what I want to decide. Now, I have to figure out what I MUST decide.

Iron Benny said...

Certainly not a decision that is easy to make. You make some very good points Greyhound. Sometimes, you just need to commit so you don't have anything to contemplate anymore. But, we all know that you need support and commitment from those that love you. If you have that, then you will have what it takes to finish your goal.

Remember, you can always put it off and think one more year, one more year, etc. But when it comes down to it, you are only delaying the inevitable. When it's time to get ready, you WILL get ready.

But, again, and I know you know this; none of it means anything without the support of your loved ones. Good luck with your decision. It's not an easy one, I know. In the end, I know you will make the right choice for yourself and your family.

Nytro said...

i'm so with you on this post today, greyhound. i've got a similar one i'm working on in my head... if only i had the time to sit down and write it. of course, i'm certainly not talking about your big "decision", but rather the mental health aspect of how your training has progressed. good job.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

I don't know what you're thinking.

But, it hit me today as I was passing a funeral home that we only get one shot.


Make it worth your while.

Nytro said...

um... where'd the Nytro Nemesis Chart go? you get a little cocky and then get a little scared?

Bolder said...