There is no better feeling of accomplishment than riding up a mountain, pushing yourself to your goal, and celebrating at 30 mph all the way back down.
I grabbed a couple of my best pals and went for a ride this beautiful morning. During my climb, I thought a lot about how riding up Mt. Lemmon is a lot like overcoming life's challenges. In the moment, things are looking rough: your muscles burn, you can't catch a full breath, the sun feels a little too hot, you're thinking "is my back supposed to hurt like that?", "I'd die for some cold water right now", "what do you mean it never flattens out!?". But in that moment, you just have to say "SHUT UP LEGS!" and keep pushing on.
Huffing and puffing away next to Lauren as we blabbed about some tidbit of gossip, a group of studly bikers pushed passed us on their fancy 'too-many-thousands-of-dollars' bikes. We both tuned into our leg muscles, drew some great power from them and rode behind the pack for a short while. We realized we could probably always push ourselves a little harder and go a little faster. You can forget your capabilities for a while and fall into a comfortable groove.
Sometimes, we must remind ourselves that we can push ourselves harder and we will survive. The road may look steep ahead and you sure might not be moving very fast, but you're still moving and somehow, your muscles still have the will to keep flexing. Challenges we face are rough and we all have many of them. But when you can reach that goal, big or small, and look back, it really can feel awesome.
As I rode down the mountain, I got the greatest feeling of serenity. The smooth road whizzed by under my two thin tires, my wind breaker flapped at its own frequency in my ears, and the curves were smooth and road was empty. Going 30 mph on your bike down a mountain might seem scary and anxiety inducing (I cannot deny that it it's not!), but my goodness, there is no feeling quite like it.
And is if the ride down wasn't awesome enough, the food awaiting me at the bottom only added to my perfect ride.
As we sat in the sun devouring delicious grub and laughing and talking about nothing in particular while the "hurt-so-good" feeling overcame our legs, I was not wanting to be anywhere else.