"Heaven would not be heaven
if there were no hills."
Melissa "Puddle" Hall
As I climb my last long training hill before a gentle taper for my 1000K, my lungs spasmodically heaving with effort, my thighs crying and cursing me, I feel the thrill of victory surge through me, volcanically rising inside as I crest the top. With sweat still mercilessly stinging my eyes, I rest in an easy but powerful rhythm and feel the blessed relief that comes from a less intense effort. It is like doing Pilates and finally releasing from the plank position or some other position that challenges your muscles to the max, an internal melting of blessed release, release that only comes following effort. Internally there is a core nugget of satisfaction, of having accomplished a goal, of success in not walking, in not yielding to the temptation to just quit, in following a plan of action wherever it leads. Yes, I am proud of myself. Whether I succeed or not in the long run is temporarily unimportant, I have gotten this far without surrendering. And I think to myself the above, that heaven would not be heaven without hills. To feel like this inside, to see the land stretched out below like a museum painting, to conquer and overcome, this is important, at least to me. Surely even in heaven there are challenges. And if there are challenges there must be hills, and if there are hills there absolutely MUST be bicycles. Otherwise, heaven would not be heaven.
Hope to ride with you then, Packman. Until then, I carry a part of you inside me whether you know it or not my friend. Puddle