Monday, August 12, 2013
Yesterday I got a 22-miler, and this morning a 16-miler, tomorrow who knows? Summer is winding down, and I don't have to be to school until Thursday morning so I'm getting as many miles as I can until then.
On my way in from my ride this morning, I had a couple of slow climbs. Most people scoff at me when I talk about hills in Illinois, because yes, I know that Illinois is very flat. However on a bike, you come to realize that "flat" is relative. It seems flat, but there are some pretty good rollers around here! Downstate is more hilly, but we have our share of "slow climbs" here. This means that it may look flat, but you are climbing a hill over a distance of a mile or more, which takes a different kind of strength and endurance. It's still good training, even in Illinois. ;)
Whenever I have a difficult hill to climb, I think of my mother-in-law. She was the best grandparent my kids could ever have had, and I still get so unhappy now that she's gone. I remember when she quit her job. She worked in a highrise in Chicago's Loop, and there was one of those slow climb hills for her to get from the train station to her building. And one day, she decided it was too hard to climb that hill anymore, so she stopped. I remember that my husband and I were mystified by that decision, or maybe even horrified by it, because her future was suddenly not clear. And now, she's gone.
This is why I never stop climbing hills. I never want to give up and go home. My mind is just not programmed to quit. And when I think it's hard, I remember her, and I tell myself to keep pedaling. And I get home from my rides every time. It doesn't bring her back, but it's a powerful lesson learned in many life situations.