A word of warning here folks, I am attempting thoughts a bit deeper than normal. I know, I know, after the ride I had this weekend is it REALLY a smart idea to strain myself like this? Well I am taking precautions: I have the iPod on, I am sipping a Diet Mountain Dew, and I am sitting down.
So here we go. I was thinking about the big ride on Saturday, and the vast differences in my moods. I am meaning no disrespect here at all, but after Saturday, I might have an inkling of what a bipolar person goes through. The up hill slogs were at times brutal. And as I said in the recap post, I was close to giving up.
Not only giving up, I was pretty damn hard on myself. I was chewing my ass for not riding more, not getting into the mountains and for thinking about quitting. Back in the days of climbing (or trying to climb) mountains, I berated myself miraculously when I turned back. I was a failure, a loser and should just give up and become a couch potato. This wasn’t near that bad, but I was still harsh. Even trying to focus in the down hill that was coming didn’t help
(editors note: that was THEN! I now know my body just doesn’t like it that high, and I gave it my all. No lingering issues at all, even when Mt. Rainier laughs at me.)
(Editors note II: This does NOT happen on most rides, shoot VERY rarely. There are always hills, I may cuss, complain or grumble at times, but I always know I will make it! This was an extraordinary ride.)
Like I said though, then there was the downhills…. It was like a switch was turned! Instead of struggling to breath, fighting for every inch, I let gravity take over, and I was bellowing out a song! Euphoria! Life was good, this is why I do these rides! Them Tour de France climbers got nuthin on me! Legs of steel Valente they call me!! Each time, the little negative thought would crop up “Lord when this runs out there will be more uphill” was squashed flat and I sang louder.
Thing is, no matter what or where I love down hills. Its one of the reasons I ride. But very Very VERY rarely to I get to the point of song. I always smile, and feel great. But the last time I remember being this euphoric was the huge down hill after the High Pass Challenge.
Now the deep thought… Is this like life? We all like the good times. We like no hassles, no family or financial issues, but do we have to endure times that suck to truly appreciate life when it doesn’t? We all hear about rich kids growing up with everything, getting into trouble and becoming losers. Is it because they didn’t have to struggle at all?
My dad helped me get summer jobs. Roofer, carrying hot tar in 5 gallon buckets all summer in the heat. Painter, setting up and tearing down scaffolding all day in the summer heat. Janitor, cleaning bathrooms on an army base all night during the summer. Why? He wanted me to learn what job I would have if I ever quit college. Then I’d appreciate going back to school each year and work my tail off for good grades. (Lotsa horse sense in that man (sometimes!))
So what’s the bottom line? Maybe I am still a bit brain-dead from the weekend. But to truly enjoy the good, we have to suffer through the bad. Also, no matter how bad it is now, it will get better! And when it does (like the day after the worst hangover ever) you will be giddy and truly appreciate it! I am not making light of any problems you may have, but someday you will look back and be able to say “Yep, survived that one!”
There is a key point here though. At least to my thinking. No matter what the bad was, when the good starts, when you feel the euphoria hit, embrace it! Don’t feel guilty, don’t let others who aren’t there hold you back. When it hits, it is meant to be. Grab that sucker and bellow out a song! These are times not to be missed.
OK, now I will get back to my normal shallowness!