"How do you go up the hills so fast mom? I HATE hills!" my son complained on our bike ride one morning when he finally caught up to where I was waiting for him at the top. He had dismounted and was plodding up the hill pushing his bike.
"So do I" I told him.
That was all I said and he did not respond, but on the next hill, he passed me on the way up. And the hill after that.
Because here's the deal. The roads around here have hills. And I decided in advance that I was going to make each hill a personal challenge. I get myself in the right gear, I stand up to give my legs more power, I tighten my core so that it becomes a full body effort, and I pace myself based on the size of the hill. And the hill is no longer a gruelling, exhausting, irritation. It is a new contest. Another opportunity to get off my butt and strengthen my resources.
I remember complaining about hills when I was in my early twenties. I had just purchased a new fire-engine red Bianchi racing bike and I was chatting with a fellow cyclist about an upcoming race. "Beat em on the hills Mary" he told me. "Beat em on the hills." For some reason, although I never went in any formal races, his words stuck in my head. Anybody can cycle across flat land. Anybody can look good when the road is smooth and there are no ups and downs. Anybody can smile when peddling is easy.
It's digging deep into your inner self to find the energy and determination to get up the hills, whether you like them or not, that establishes your success in a race.
My son has never got off his bike since that day to plod tiredly up the hill while I waited at the top. Often he passes me. The rest of the time he stays close behind. Just three words changed his perspective. Perhaps he assumed prior to that that I enjoyed hills. Perhaps he thought I had a better bike. Perhaps he believed he was too young. Somehow hearing that I also hated hills - but had apparently made different choices in response to that fact - inspired him to do the same.
Everyone finds themselves at the bottom of a hill on occasion. Sometimes it's a hot day, we're tired before we start, and the hill seems overwhelming. Some people turn around and go back. Some people get off and plod. Some people set themselves up for success and make it happen.
If you find that you consistently retreat or plod.... if you have no clue what it means to 'set yourself up for success'... then ask for support. Make a choice to Live Life Better. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I can help.