Epic weekend. Just epic. Can life really get any better? Can the people in my life get any more amazing? I keep thinking that life can’t possibly get any better than what it is right now, but then I just keep getting more and more surprised. More pinch me moments on a regular basis. This is now what I’m striving for. :)
K-town roadie with Steph (one of the most inspiring, contagious life-lovers I know) up to Kelowna – tunes blaring, top of lung singing, vision setting, adventure list making, JJ bean peanut butter bars, americanos, all packed up in Benzo. Chicks with bikes. Done. Life is good.
We got up to Kelowna Friday night, our adventure list ready to go. Lets see how much we fun we can pack into 2 days. Steph and I together on an adventure = trouble. We hit up a lulu store to say hello (obviously!), Whole foods for a healthy dinner, bbq for some drinks then off to bed. I was definitely humbled this weekend. Let’s face it. I’m not a biker per say. I just like to ride every once and a while. Knowing that I was going to be riding 115km+ with a bunch of pro’s – freaked me out. And yes, Steph you are a pro (placed 3rd in her age group!!! YOU ROCK LADY!).
Butterflies. The night before. Nerves were a shaking. So THIS is what it feels like for newbies! I sometimes take it for granted how stoked I can get for running races or even a simple thing such as a yoga class. To feel new, unfamiliar and intimidated – what a good feeling. A good, humbling reminder to do things out of our comfort zone. To be able to sympathize with people around us who might not be feeling so fresh as you when you’re in your element. A humbling reminder.
With my fashionable sunnies in place, I held back from the group at the start and decided to ride solo. I didn’t want to hold anyone back, or feel that I had to push myself more than I knew I could. Smiling ear to ear in the sunshine, surrounded by super stoked peeps. A-MAZING. Funny thing, within 5 minutes of the start I hear, “JT!”. Crazy, but this guy who I did a dive adventure with on the Great Barrier Reef with was riding his bike beside me. Small world. He recognized me by my laugh (a common theme for me) – haha. I guess it’s true though eh? Do what you love and you will be constantly surrounded by amazing people. Even half way across the world.
So here’s a picture of the race. See that big hill? I knew it was coming. I was loving the ride for the first 35km. Solo, smiling, stoked. Then came the hill. My goal was to not stop. Just keep on going. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I also knew how good it would feel when I conquered it. I didn’t look pretty heading up that thing – teeth were gritting, sweat was dripping, probably even some pedal pushing grunts. But I was determined. I knew what was at the top, and I knew how good it would feel once I got there. I wanted to get there. Along the way, there were people stopping. I almost crashed into a few, but I swirved and kept going. Pedal stroke by pedal stroke. When it was almost too tough to bare, I dug deep, stared straight in front and just focused on that next stroke. “I. Am. Strong.” Each pedal.
I made it. No stopping. Tired legs by the top. But you know what I found? A group of friends from lulu who took me along for the rest of the ride. (PLUS! M&Ms and coffee!) I didn’t expect to find this greatness at the top. All I was looking forward to was a “wheeeeEEEEEE!” ride down the other side. But I found so much more. And because I found these guys, the rest of the ride couldn’t have been any better. I probably had some smile burn marks from loving life so much. From saying too much, “I don’t want this to end!!”. Cyclers heaven. Paradise on bikes.
The hill I conquered reminded me a whole lot about life. I wish I could have pulled out my lap top and started plugging out this post when I was grunting my way up (that’s how bloggers think). Life can get pretty hard sometimes. You might even know that hard times are coming. And that’s why it’s even more important to have a goal. A destination to be reached. Sometimes when we’re en route to accomplishing a big and hairy challenge, we might not look too pretty. We often have to grim down and bare it. Stare straight at the moment and focus on that. People might bail out here and there, but if we want it bad enough, we keep on going. Knowing that what we want is ahead, we focus pedal by pedal. Moment by moment. Breath by breath. And then when we get to the top, smile on and ready to go, we gain so much more than we expected. Amazing people, paradise rides, smile burn marks and life changing moments.
Climb your hills. No matter how hard it may seem, grit your teeth, sweat a little and just keep on trucking. It wouldn’t feel so good getting to the top if we didn’t have to put some work in to it. Flat is boring. Love your hills. Love your life.
Living the dream…. in luon.
Smile with your heart!