Have you been for a bike ride lately? I went out on a clear morning this last Sunday, after having recently acquired my first bike in 30 years!
On my trip, which began with a walk alongside the bike – the clinic is located on a 20% incline, and I’m not yet ready to start biking on a hill – to the nearest flat section of road, I began to think about the trip I was taking and how it reflected our life challenges.
My first hill went well to begin with, how similar is that to when we first begin a new project? I started off with a lot of enthusiasm, the legs were pumping fast, the hill didn’t look that difficult, of course I can make it I said!
And then I began to slow down, the effort is becoming more difficult to sustain, is it the motivation that is slipping, not enough experience, or worries that I may fall and look silly? Whatever the reason, the slope is more difficult to conquer than I first thought.
How like life this trip is beginning to look like. Think of when you first start a project, the enthusiasm is high, we’re highly confident that we can achieve our goal, we’ve not anticipated any difficulties when we first start. Once started though, little obstacles begin to appear. We either want to avoid them, or we take them on and ride right over them! The obstacles can make the journey more difficult for sure, how we approach them is what will determine whether or not we achieve the desired outcome or pinnacle of success!
So, what did I do, did I turn back and coast downhill, or did I get off the bike and continue on up the hill, albeit it at a slightly slower pace? Of course, I got off the bike. Pride carefully tucked away, so that I can continue to conquer the hill. I’m not going to let my fitness level get in my way of going to where I want to go.
Again, this is like life. We set out on a journey, and the going can get difficult, though if we stick at it and take it one step at a time, we can still achieve our desired goals, reaching the hill! What happens then?
Well, we have a couple of options, depending on the terrain. The first option is that we coast along on the flat for a while, feeling pretty good about where we’ve arrived at. This can happen in life too, we’ve achieved a goal and we are happy with that goal, it is creating the environment we were seeking.
The second option is that we rapidly head back down hill. This can happen when we’ve not planned our route and we didn’t see the down hill slope. Down hill can occur rapidly (depending on the slope) and we can lose control easily. Though, we need to remember that we can stop and change our route if we wish.
On my bike journey on Sunday, I had climbs up hills, coasts along flat areas and rapid descents too. As my journey had a plan, I put in the hard work at the beginning and middle, and then the end became a coast to the finish line – great fun and exhilaration followed (once I regained my breath of course!)
We need to remember that life can throw us obstacles, but if we take a deep breath, assess the situation and remember to tackle the obstacle one step at a time, we can still succeed and overcome the obstacles to climb our way upwards.
I also like to think that every downhill has a bottom, and that the only way to go from there is up – enjoy the journey and take many more bike trips