I think we've all been there. In fact, I KNOW we've all been there. It's a great day. You get your cycling stuff on and head out to the trails to do hill repeats, because you know they will make you stronger and you want that edge for the next race or event.
Heck, let's make it Hill of Life (formerly known as Heart Attack Hill or HOL for short) - great idea! That is until you're halfway up your first climb, sucking wind and pushing hard on the pedals. Questioning your 36, 10-36 choice of gearing as you push on your shifter for an easier gear... only to get rejected). Trying your best to have a light touch on handlebars to make the next technical section. Then you realize the air around you IS NOT MOVING AT ALL and you're dripping with sweat. You try your best to recover on some of the easier sections (Hah!!! You said recover on HOL) and get ready to push it hard again. This is miserable, I HATE the HIll of Life! But you suffer through it and make it.
Now it’s time to head downhill and recover. But No! That’s just as hard as climbing the damn thing! Your legs are screaming, your hands are cramping from squeezing the sh** out of your brakes and back up again. I HATE the HOL!
At some point you in your battle with misery you realize you only have one or two to go. Yes I can do this, FU HOL! Today I'm going to win. I'm going to beat you!
And you're done. You did it. You're at the top sitting (or in my car laying down) on that bench breathing with full lungs. And the thought comes to your head. I LOVE the Hill of Life! Sound crazy? I KNOW you know what I'm talking about. You've all been there. It may not have been on HOL but another hill that challenges everything you got.
We hate it, but we also love it because it DOES challenge us. It breaks down all our barriers and exposes our weaknesses, leaving us asking those really important questions about who you are and what the hell you're doing here. It proves what you're really made of. And when you're done you get to appreciate it for doing exactly that. You're a MTBIKER, that's what you do, you face your weaknesses and learn to conquer them.
Next time you're there at that moment, smile, laugh, scream, curse as you tell yourself I’M A MTBIKER oh and enjoy your ride.
Hope to see you there.
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