Saturday, September 3, 2011

Standing on the Pedals

I have not written much lately. The truth is that I have not felt like writing because I have been frustrated with the seemingly slow progress I have been making. It came to a head last Saturday when I drove up to the north side of McKinney. On the way, I saw people riding on the hills that I use to ride on. With each passing rider, I began to get more frustrated that I was unable to do what they were doing. Sitting at a stop light, I heard cancer throw down the challenge, "You can't do that anymore." I knew then that it was time to do battle once again.

This morning I got up early and did my quiet time reading and said my prayers. I asked that God give me a good ride today. I filled my bottles with water and Gatorade, readied my bike, and was out the door by 6:30. Riding out of the neighborhood, for the first time in over a year--I turned right. Today I was going to ride cancer into the pavement.

Heading north, the morning air felt cool on my arms. Before long I had reached the first down hill section and I could hear the air rushing by my ears. It has been too long since I had heard that sound. I was able to make it up the next hill with minimal effort and started another descent. Before I knew it, I had made it up and over the three hills and was on my way to north McKinney. However, I knew that to get home, I would have to ride back over these same hills. And the way home is the hard side.

At mile ten, there they were: The three hills I had fun riding out on would now have to be ridden over with tired legs. This was why I had come this way. I had to take on this challenge, if for no other reason than to prove I could. Slowly I made my way up the first hill. At the top of the hill, I was passed by another rider who rode away from me like I was going backwards. As I made my way down the first hill, I sucked in as much air as I could and prepared to ascend the second hill. I had made it about half way up the second hill when I had to get out of the saddle and stand on the pedals. I had to take a few pedal strokes and coast. Then repeat. I made it to the top and begin sucking in the air again. I was hoping for a long descent, but it was over too soon and I was headed up the final hill, and it is the worst. Again, half way up, I was out of the saddle and standing on the pedals. After a few seconds, I had to sit back down to try and catch what breath I could. As I got closer to the top, I again was standing on the pedals. This time the frustration I have been feeling and shear determination provided the fuel I needed to get to the top.

As I reached the top, I knew I had once again managed to meet the challenge. Thankful to see a flat section of road, I sang the Doxology. Each day may bring a new challenge, but each day is a blessing.