I've been biking regularly for about a year and a half now. I love it, and I crave it. My rides aren't fast, because I love to stop and take pictures of the pretty things that I see as I go. Up until recently, I didn't love hills. I enjoy 10 to 25 mile rides - on flat ground - but would sometimes find myself whining in my head like a toddler when a challenging hill would be on my route.
More recently, when I have hills to bike over, I hear a voice in my head encouraging me, saying, "You can do it. It's just a hill." This voice speaks loudly as my legs are protesting, and my lungs aren't happy either. But, I pedal on, and feel the joy and sense of accomplishment, once I reach the top.
Lately, I'm trying to flip my way of thinking. I've begun to adopt the phrase, "I get to," rather than, "I have to." In February, I began an online course taught by Health Educator and Warrior for Christ, Jen Weir. She shares tools and truth that help you to move closer to emotional freedom and wellness by using essential oils, and simply, prayer. During the course, there is a powerful exercise focusing on brain detox, where Jen encourages class members to flip their way of thinking, and she talks them through how to accomplish that, specifically.
When I ride, sometimes a thought will pop into my head, and the whole thing seems as clear as a bell - like an entire life lesson presents itself all at once. Today, about 100 yards from my second biggest hill-nemesis, I thought that I would like to stop and snap a photo of the hill that I was about to tackle - one that I have overcome before, but still looms large. I began to hear that voice say, "Its just a hill. You can do this. You get to do this." Then the life lesson appeared. And at the same time, my mind actually "flipped the way of my thinking."
My old, usual way of doing things would have looked like this : I would have stopped on this side of the bottom of the hill to take the photo, gotten back on my bike, and had to push even harder to get back up to speed to conquer the hill. But today my thinking flipped. About 50 yards from the hill, I found myself thinking, "Don't lose your momentum. Keep it going up and over the hill. Don't stop now. You can do this a different way."
I realized I could keep my momentum to get over the hill, and still take the photo exactly as I wanted. I would continue with perseverance on this difficult part of my journey, and stop in this very same spot on my way back home, as I was coming back down this same hill.
As I mentioned earlier, this hill was my second most dreaded hill. To be honest, until today, I had completely avoided my most dreaded hill. I'd never even attempted to climb it. There is an ugly incline about three blocks from my house, and in all of my riding, I have always taken an alternate route to bypass it.
After today's epiphany, I felt that this was the perfect time to ride it.
"I can do this. It's just a hill. I get to climb it!"