My business partner and I recently relocated the company from Anacostia to downtown DC. This is a whole new bike commute for me. I’m still trying to workout the kinks. I have perfected the first half of my commute. Instead of fighting with speeding cars for a lane on Pennsylvania Ave once I get across the Sousa Bridge, I took Kentucky Ave to 13th to East Capitol Street. From there I ended up on Mass Ave, which was a horrible idea. I made my way to D St, then took D to 6th St. My cycle peeps recommend cutting through the Capitol grounds to get to the Pennsylvania Avenue cycle tracks. I’ll take any excuse to go by the Capitol. It’s one of my favorite buildings.
Enough of the boring stuff…. let’s get to the title of this post.
There is going to come a day when I don’t complain about the 2 hills I have to climb to get home, but today isn’t one of them. As I was biking up the second hill, I had an epiphany (or maybe it was just lack of oxygen). Biking uphill is a metaphor for life.
- When you are at the bottom of the hill don’t look at the top of the hill. It’s a soul crusher. Just like in life we have big challenges to overcome. When you think about the challenge it seems overwhelming. I know where the top of the hill is, so there’s no need to look at it from ground zero. Same with challenges. You know what the challenge is, so there no need to dwell on it.
- Instead, break the ride (challenge) into smaller goals. I break the big hill into 4 smaller goals. Just make it to the bus stop. Okay just make it to the broken baby tree that DDOT hasn’t fixed yet (note to self: take a photo and resubmit it to 311). Sweet you made it to the broken baby tree, not the church. Alabama Ave is next, you can do it. Then it’s all downhill from there (literally). So, in life break your challenge into small goals.
- When it hurts, just keep pedaling. Usually when I hit the broken baby tree the lactic acid has built up in my legs and there is nothing but B U R N. At that point I tell myself, “keep pedaling”. Even if it’s S L O O O O O O W and steady. As you work toward challenges in life there is going to be that point where you are ready to give up. Believe me as a business owner, I have had those days. You just have to keep going.
- When in doubt, remember people are watching and you never know who you’ll inspire. Pennsylvania Ave SE is a major roadway to Maryland, so I always have a full audience when I struggle up the hill. Maybe someone in one of those cars will be inspired to get on a bike. Today, I had a real touching moment. My legs hurt and I was ready to get off my bike and walk it the rest of the way home. Right before the point I was about to give up a little boy (~7) and his mom were walking toward me. As the little boy walked by he started clapping and cheering. I kept on biking.
Okay… that’s all I got…. Now draw me a bubble bath with Epsom salt, so I know it’s real.
Total miles - 11.31 miles (45.4 miles for 2013)