Saturday, 2 February 2013

The hill is not in the way, the hill is the way

Plymbridge Road, going towards Plympton*
Somebody far wiser than me once said the hill is not in the way, the hill IS the way. (If you know who to attribute this to, please let me know?)

On my new commute I have a fair few hills, which reminded me of this thought.

See, we can moan and grumble as much as we want, but if the road we find ourselves cycling on goes up and over a hill, then moaning and grumbling will do nothing to help us ride up and over that hill.
On the contrary, moaning and grumbling would probably make it harder, and make the hill seem bigger and steeper than what it really is.

Sometimes, what is truly needed is just simple acceptance of the reality of the situation. In this example, the reality is that we're cycling on a road that goes up and over a hill. That leaves us with two choices: we can cycle up and over the hill, or we can turn back and try an alternative route. Anything else would simply leave us to stagnate.

Sometimes there are no alternative routes and sometimes it can be impossible to go back, however much we may wish to. In such cases it becomes even more important to stop wasting time, effort and energy on moaning and grumbling, and instead simply get on with the job of riding up the hill.

Clearly this motto hold true for cycling as well as for life in general. Sometimes life trips us up. It happens, and there is usually diddly-squat you can do about it other than brush yourself off and continue as best you can. Moaning and grumbling only serves to amplify the negative at the expense of the positive, and therefore doesn't help at all.

And besides, riding up hills makes us stronger. It builds muscle, fitness and character, which isn't a bad reward for our efforts, now is it? After a while, certain hills no longer seems so big, or so steep, as we get better at dealing with hills. Next thing you know, you forget all the pain and suffering, but you get to keep the muscles strength, the fitness and the character.

Sometimes, it makes sense to intentionally pick the road that goes up and over the hill. Because the hill is not in the way, the hill is the way.

*The photo is certainly a hill, but not part of my commute