Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 3 - Looking for headlights

Once upon a time, long, long ago, when I lived in Arizona, I enjoyed cycling. I did a few Mountain biking series, a few time trials, lots of groups rides. It was a lifestyle that I loved.

One day, when I was first getting started, I went out for a training ride with my husband and our good friend, Joe. We dropped off our two little boys at my mom's house and headed out to the foothills of the Santa Rita mountains.

I struggled to keep up with the men from the start. One steep hill revealed another, after another, after another. At the top of each new hill, I watched for the trail to turn and head back to our parking spot, but like waves on the ocean, the hills were endless.  

I began to fade, walking up at times and the coasting down, only to quit halfway up the next hill. The sun began to fade as well. We were in real trouble. If you've never experienced it, you can't imagine a darker place than the desert on a moonless night. 

Panic set in. I thought about my boys, Wesley and Richy, and my mom and grandparents who were waiting for me to return. How long would they wait before calling the sheriff? Would they even know where to look for us? (This was back in the the day before cell phones!) Should we turn back? Press on?

Joe rode ahead to where the trail met the road and made it back to his truck. James stayed with me, and stayed cool as I strained to keep moving. I could barely see the trail when we finally reached the road. Riding on the road was blessedly easy after tackling the huge hills, but still we could barely see. I was never so happy to see a set of headlights in my whole life!

This episode has just been tucked away in my mind for years. I never really thought much about it, or took away any lessons (other than better training ride planning!) until this week. I've dealt with one obstacle after another for a few weeks now. It feels like I have many hills left ahead of me and little relief in sight. I am slogging ahead, tackling the hills and watching for headlights. 


Anna said...

This is a beautiful pot. I love the visual and can relate so well. We are on this same journey, might be in a different state and different hills. But we keep putting one foot in front of the other, eyes straight ahead focused on the headlights. Thank you for sharing.