As I mentioned in a post a while back, my reward to myself for being brave enough to quit my job was buying a bicycle. It's been really fun getting out and about, but as I was cruising along today I thought that riding a bike is a bit like navigating life.
|It's feels like uphill all the way - but the easy bit will come!|
Ups and downs:
No matter how much I would like the road to be smooth and straight for the whole time I am riding on it, it refuses to comply with my demands. There are hills in more places than I ever noticed when I was out walking. I console myself while I am plodding upwards (and my thigh muscles are burning) that for every uphill part of the journey, there will be a downhill glide - where I stop pedaling and the wind rushes by and I cover ten times more ground in half the time. The downhill can be fast and scary but so exhilarating!
Life is like that too - there are times when I am trudging uphill and nothing seems to be going easily and I wonder why I'm bothering. When the going gets tough it's really hard to just put my head down and push through, but when I manage to get past the hump there is often sunshine and a fresh breeze and life picks up pace again. The push uphill builds muscle (or perseverance or whatever) and I am even more appreciative of the smooth places and the cruise-y downward slopes. I'm even coming to a place where the scary bits start to feel exhilarating too!
There is almost always someone who zips past me on their 10 speed racing bike - clad in an aerodynamic helmet and trendy cycling gear. I can feel a bit disheartened in comparison or I can just let them zoom along on their way while I enjoy the scenery and the steady pace that will eventually get me home. I don't envy their fitness particularly or their doggedness or their desire to be fast and furious - I'd much rather take things at my own leisurely pace.
Life is like that too - there will always be someone who is in a great job or has a fantastic house, or car, or over-achieving children or is off on another world trip. They are racing through life on a 10 speed and having a great (or not-so-great) time doing it. I could envy their drive and lifestyle, or I can choose to enjoy my simpler life where I can appreciate my steady pace and enjoy the pleasantness of a life without all that pressure to be the best.
|Don't miss out on the ride!|
For every super-rider there is a casual couch potato sitting at home enjoying their TV or their coffee and cake. They watch me go by on my slow and steady bike ride and probably chuckle quietly to themselves at my efforts. They may even think about getting their bike out of the shed, but that idea passes by and they sit back and have a snooze.
Life is like that too - I can choose to stay home and let the cobwebs gather on my bike. I can put my feet up and eat cake, but then I'd be missing out on all those hills and the exercise and experience they give me. I'd miss out on the thrill of free-wheeling down those hills I worked so hard to get to the top of - and I'd miss out on the fresh air and sunshine. Sitting back and watching life go by is very tempting but when you make the effort to get out there and have a go, it's worth every minute of the ride.