This is How You Overcome…

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The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them.

-Woodrow Wilson-

By now most of our loyal readers know that I’m a two-wheeled kind of guy.  I always say that I’d rather be on two wheels than four.  It’s just more interesting and fun.  For me, life starts when I twist the throttle on my motorcycle or clip my shoe into my bicycle.

Today I did both, but it’s the bicycle I want to talk about.  If you’re not a fan of two wheels I ask that you stay with me because like always, I promise something good will come of your time here today.

Due to pain in my knee, I spent all winter and spring off of my bicycle and when I do that, I pay for it when I finally do get on.  Today I took my 3rd ride of the year as I prepare up for my ride across Wisconsin, a brutal 175-mile ride that you have from dusk to dawn to finish.   Last year the Dawn stopped me 10 miles from the finish.  This year it won’t.

Like any exercise that you haven’t done in awhile, my plan is to start slowly.  My first ride was a scant 20 miles and my 2nd ride was a mere 16 miles.  Today I set my goal at 50 miles and by mile 18 my body was screaming no more!  I decided that it would be best to shoot for 40 miles and call it a day.  The problem was that I would have to stretch myself another two miles out before returning home, and the coming terrain was going to include two bridges that I did not want to cross as they’re rather steep.

As I approached the first of the uphill entries to the two bridges, I did what I normally do.  I chose my gear, steadied my breathing, sat back on my seat, and proceeded to push forward.  It was at this moment that it hit me.  How my technique for conquering hills can help us conquer life!

You see I’ve left out one little detail that I use to conquer hills, I don’t look at the hill other than to glance up so that I stay on course and don’t run into anything or anyone.  The hills are monsters just waiting to devour my motivation, my strength, and my energy.  I just can’t look the hill in the eye and expect to win.  I don’t want to brag but I can get myself up a hill faster than most, and that due to my ignoring its siren call of death.  The hill is just too big to stare down.

When I climb a hill I look at the only thing that I can control, my own effort.  My head is down for arrow dynamics, my eyes affixed on my pedals, feet, and cranks.  That’s where the magic is happening, not at the top of the hill.  Before I know it I’ve made it to the top and I still have the energy to catch some free speed going down.

Allow me to say that the brutal, mind-blowing hills of Wisconsin can kill one pretty quickly, especially when you realize that the course will have about 140 miles worth of the biggest freaking slopes know to the mid-west.

When you’re reaching, striving, yearning, and burning your way through the obstacles that stand in your way, don’t give your attention to the obstacle.  Give your full attention to your effort, to your technique, be proud of the power that you’re laying down and keep moving forward.

This is how you overcome, this is how you win, this is how you survive.

Tino Hernandez



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