Today was a grand day. I woke up this morning in a great mood. My Clemson Tigers beat Florida State yesterday, the sun was shining bright this morning, and the birds were singing their little hearts out. Today was going to be a great day. I could feel it in my bones.
Today...today was just another day for most of you, but not for me. As I woke up, I knew that I was going to ride today. My plan was to ride the Silver Comet Trail for 5-10 miles and then relax for the remainder of the day. That didn't happen. What DID happen was that I sat around and watched the Saints beat the Texans. I sat here and thought about riding and then decided to go and ride the neighborhood.
I got my bike out, put on my gear and set out. I got to the end of my road and had a choice...go straight and ride some rolling hills or take a left and try to ride the monster that beats me every time I try. I headed straight. As soon as I crossed the highway, my front wheel took a hard left and I was facing my nemesis...The HILL.
Trekkie, my bike (2011 Trek 7000), started whispering to me.
"If you take it slow and put me in the right gear before we start up, I'll get us there", he said.
But this hill has beaten me every single time I have tried it, except in a car, I thought.
Again, I heard him whisper to me. "If you take it slow and put me in the right gear before we start up, I'll get us there. Remember what you have learned from the forums. Remember what everyone has told you. Put me in the right gear BEFORE the hill. Just DO IT!".
Ok...here we go. I take it easy towards the hill. About ten to twelve miles per hour. I got near the hill and dropped the gears to 1 - 4. Started climbing and it got a little slow. Dropped the gears to 1 - 3. Climbed more. Saw the steep part of the hill in front of me and decided at that point to go to the lowest gear I had and take it slow...remembering the words that Trekkie whispered to me - "If you take it slow and put me in the right gear before we start up, I'll get us there"
Slow and steady. I was almost to a point at one time that I thought I was going to have to put my foot on the ground to keep the bike upright. I kept pushing. My legs were burning. My lungs were on fire, but I could still breath. I felt my heart beating in my chest. I felt my legs starting to fatigue, and then it happened. What I never thought that I would do...I saw the crest of that hill. It was about seventy-five yards ahead of me.
I struggled mightily, but I refused to give up. I was too close to the top. The stop sign at the top of the hill was getting larger and I was pumping my legs harder. I thought my quads were going to explode. I could feel my glutes as they were starting to burn as well. Pushing harder than I ever have. Breathing fire. Thinking there was no way I would make it.
"C'mon, PUSH!" I was thinning to myself. Or was that my bike yelling at me?
"PUSH! You got this!"
Thirty yards. Twenty yards. Ten yards...I crested the top! I actually crested the top. I did it! I had WON!
I stopped and turned around and looked down, just to make sure that I did this. I had! There is a MUCH different prospective from the top of this thing. It actually looked steeper from up here!
I rested for a minute (or twelve), trying to get my heartbeat down and trying to catch my breath. Rejoicing in the fact that I had just beaten my mortal enemy! Letting it sink in a bit before heading forward. I couldn't believe that I had done it, but I had. I had beaten the unbeatable, in my eyes. I took this hill down and whooped him like a red-headed step child. It was harder than anything that I have yet to do on a bike, but dadgummit, I DID it!
After I reveled in the glory and had my own personal ticker tape parade while standing beside my bike, I patted it on the seat and told it what a great job it had done getting me there.
"Wasn't me", he said. "It was all you! YOU were the one pushing ME!"
I thought about that for a while. I then got back on him and we rode forward a little further. I decided to turn us around and we headed back. The ride back down that hill was a LOT of fun! I rested my feet on the pedels and just rode the bike. It felt like I was flying. I decided to go and do the loop that I wanted to do to begin with. That loop has rolling hills and I did them each with a smile on my face. I did them breathing hard, but with a smug sense of accomplishment.
I had done it. I beat it. I took that hill down. I did it with him screaming and kicking me the whole time, but I was relentless. I wouldn't give up, and finally, the hill DID give up. It was a done deal.
I'm now going to relax for the rest of the day and contemplate this whole thing. It still hasn't sunk in. I still can't believe that I did what I did.
If anyone asks me what I'm going to do now that I have beaten the Hill, I'm going to tell them, "I'm going to DISNEY WORLD!!!"
Keep moving those legs!