Handling the Up Hills of Life

Progress is a mindset. As Henry Ford once said, 'If you think you can or you think you can't, you are right.

— JMeyer —


As most of you know, since April, I’ve been working through a bout of Atrial Fibrillation. I recently had my heart converted back to normal rhythm for a second time, and so far, so good.

The past three months have been challenging for me in many ways, but the most significant challenge came from decreasing my exercise intensity to keep my heart rate within a safe range, and I love to push myself when working out.

Much to my satisfaction, after this most recent cardioversion, my cardiologist gave me the green light to “get back after it.”

Last Thursday was a beautiful day for a bike ride, so I decided to head to Lake Loramie, which is about twenty miles to our north. Having Lake Loramie as my turnaround point gives me a scenic setting to pause, have a snack, and prepare for the trek back home.

About ten miles into my ride, I encounter one of the steepest hills in our area. While mapping my route that morning, I wondered with a bit of trepidation whether I could climb that accent since I had not been able to ride with any form of intensity for over three months. I decided to go for it. I figured I could always get off my bike and walk it up the hill if things didn’t work out.

This is a selfie I snapped at the turnaround during my bike ride from last Thursday. My smile is a compilation of multiple emotions.

About a quarter of a mile before reaching a “mountain” squashed in the cornfields of Shelby County, Ohio, I began mentally preparing for the attack. Yes, it is an attack because you have to build momentum going into the climb. About halfway up, the thought of getting off my bike and walking crossed my mind, and I overcame that by keeping my eyes glued to the road just in front of my bike while pedaling one stroke at a time.

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally looked up to see how close I was to the top, and it was about ten yards away.

I put my head back down and completed my biggest physical test since starting my training a week earlier.

My heart rate was steady at 120 beats per minute; it probably would have been higher if I had given up and walked my bike up the hill. 🙂

Sometimes, the best way to overcome your fears is by putting your head down and “pedaling” one stroke at a time.

1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”

Also, Thanks to all of you who’ve sent positive vibes and notes during this “uphill phase” in my life journey. I even received a wonderful card signed by several people from a local church, which I believe was initiated by my friend and former schoolmate, Debbie. That was extra special!



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