Monday, October 8, 2007

(Poorly) Paved Metaphor

I rode some this weekend. It was fun. I rode with other people. That made it more fun. It's nice to be on a ride and not have to talk to yourself to have a conversation. Being on a ride with other people also tends to make the ride more enjoyable, especially if it's a group of people who do what you want them to do. In this case I wanted this group to ride faster and harder than I normally do, so I would be put out of my normal pace and forced to work. That's what they did. it was great. The route was pretty awesome too. Although I could have done without some of the long false flats on the route I understand what Jerry was trying to do with it. The climbs were pretty awesome as well. There was a nice climb up Davenport north of Santa Clarita, and then there was Sand Canyon and Little Tujunga. I've done both of those climbs before, but not in a long time. It was great to reacquaint myself with some old friends. The best thing about the ride was getting to see how I stood up against some of the other guys from the club, despite not finishing the ride (I assisted our SAG vehicle in finding Brad, who had a bit of a technical problem on Little T)I still felt great and felt even better after the ride. the coolest was that all of us were PAA riders and it was cool to see 8 guys out in the kit rolling down the road. I think I'm going to have to go do a modified version of Jerry's route soon, maybe this weekend.

Sunday was supposed to be a mid distance work out that turned into a recovery ride, that turned into a short climbing, mid intensity ride that turned into a bit of a "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy" moment. I decided to do the secret ride as I had slept in, ate a big, fat, late breakfast, and had to go to a birthday party at 2p.m. I rolled out at noon and headed for Griffith Park. On the secret ride there is a spot where I like to stop and look down on Burbank. So I stopped. After watching a funeral for a minute I realized that this place in the road, and specifically in this ride, is a lot like my life. The first part is flat and easy, with a few rolling hills here and there. the second part is all up hill, with sections of varying difficulty, but nothing I couldn't overcome as I've made it to this point. Turning to look up the road you see that it bends around a sharp switchback, pitching up steeply, and then disappears behind the trees. It looks very difficult, but I've done it before, and I know with no doubt I could do it again. This place in the road became an incredibly powerful metaphor.

I've done this ride many times and have always cursed this last switchback. Yesterday, though, I smiled and laughed as I passed it on my way to the top the hill. Much like this ride I see the next switchback in the climb that is my life as the toughest. I've seen a lot, but nothing like what I have planned for the next decade. As I look ahead in my life, much as I looked ahead on this climb, I realize that the greatest difficulties are yet to come over the next 10 years, but with them will come the greatest rewards. The top of the hill isn't far, and anyone who has done this ride knows not only how great the view is at the top, but how awesome the descent can be!

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