Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A difficult star

Fruitland - July 11th

Leaving the small town of Heber was easy, but physically peddling away was rather difficult. This marketed the start of a four day journey on Hwy 40 and I was nervous to see what the road conditions would be like. I passed through town, turned onto a dusty gravelly road, and I hoped that I had made a mistake. I thought to myself, there is no way that this road is route 40. I can't possibly ride on this rode for the next+200 miles. As tiny rocks rustled under my tires I begrudgingly peddled forward. After over 10 miles of slow cycling on the unpaved road my dreams came true and I hit fresh pavement. I let out a great bellow and thanked the Lord that my prayers had been answers. At first I was overjoyed to be off the rocks without a flat tire, but then I returned to reality as I realized the road was all up hill. Over the next ten miles I climbed over Daniels Summit and it was by far the most difficult climb I have experienced thus far. I was not mentally perpared for such a challenge, and I was cough off guard by a few things. First, the unfamiliar surroundings and the surprisingly steep grade made me feel unsure of myself. Then I was concerned with pacing myself and finding a safe place to take a break. I knew that I had to cover at least 50 miles in order to reach a hotel that night, and I was afraid that I would not be able to complete the ride after such a difficult start. Doubt crept into my mind and I felt like I needed to stop, but I push onward. Emotion rushed over me and my adrenaline reached its peak. I focused on the ground directly ahead of me and I willed myself slowly up the great incline. I yelled, grunted, and gasped, but ultimately I made it to the top without a break. In my state of anguish and accomplishment, not entirely sure that the climb was actually over, I refused to allow my effort to subside. I peddled on and as I regained my composer I began to cost down hill. Over the next 67 minutes I cycled over 24 miles. I flew down hills and raced up inclines. I passed robust forests and then empty valleys. There was no sign of civilization for 30 miles in any direction and I thought "how much farther?" But then a semi-truck would drive past and shout "you got it, keep going." I finished the ride and arrived at The G, the only convenient store in over 45 miles. They served hot dinners, and as I went to town on a double order of country fired steak, I thought of the distance I'd covered. I thought of Support My School. And most of all I though of how I struggled up Daniels Pass. That experience was an important test of will and I didn't want to push it away. That difficult time let me know that I was working towards something to special to give up on. That feeling of strife humbled me made me grateful for all the joy in my life. I want to hold onto that struggle closely and use it as motivation to overcome my next challenge.