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Overcoming Canyon Crest Drive



Covid 19 sucks! Stay At Home orders have been tough, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Getting my normal workouts in have been even harder. I’m sure many of you can relate. We don’t have access to the pool and we are either not moving much or trying to find different ways of getting a workout in. So, I was really happy when the weather improved and restrictions on outdoor riding were lifted.

A few weeks ago I was on a bike ride with Linda, when due to time constraints, we had to make the decision to ride up Canyon Crest Drive, which I believe is about a 12% grade. That’s steep!! If you know that area, you know what I mean. If you don’t know the area, think of a roller coaster pulling you up that giant first climb. Ok, maybe it’s not that steep, but that’s what it looked like to me. A HUGE hill and one that I would often tell myself, “You should do that someday.” Followed by, “But, it’s WAY too steep, I don’t think you’d make it.”

I’m not particularly fond of riding hills. They make my heartrate skyrocket to where I feel like it is going to beat right out of my chest and I’m REALLY slow! And when you’re trying to keep up with Linda, those pesky negative thoughts tend to get loud.😋 But, if I know anything about myself, it’s that I’m determined. Once I make up my mind to do something, I’m going to do it.

When I first started hill training, I would catch myself constantly looking towards the top of the hill. As my heart was beating out of my chest, my internal mantra was, “Oh my gosh, I can’t do this. I won’t make it.”

And you know what? I always made it.

So why had I told myself that Canyon Crest Drive was going to be too hard for me?

Sometimes, the mountain/hill appears bigger than it really is. Sometimes, we don’t know our own strength. When you are at the bottom of that hill, it’s intimidating and overwhelming. And when you’ve already gone over 20 miles and you are tired, it’s even more intimidating.

But my new mantra while riding hills is,

“Three feet.”

You only need to focus on the three feet in front of you and keep pedaling. As long I stayed focused on that three feet, I always made it to the top.

And guess what?

I made it to the top of Canyon Crest Drive!

I was stronger than I thought.

Only two or three times have I had to get off my bike and walk to the top of a hill. I’ve learned that that’s okay, too. Why? Because I’m still moving forward and I didn’t stop.

We are all in an uphill climb right now. Keep moving forward three feet and you will get to the top and remember,

You are strong and capable!

P.S. Carlene and Linda made it to the top of La Sierra, up to Lake Matthews a few months ago as well! She loves hills!

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