I really wasn't sure I was ready to go back on this trail. I tried it last Thursday and had a really rough time. It was a lot of fun because there were lots of ups and downs, but I kept having to stop on the ups (at a certain point the bike starts to tip over and you have no choice but to put a foot down) and ride my brakes on the downs (they were pretty steep). I kept planning on going at it again, but I just freaked myself out and decided to do other rides or sleep (after all, the book does say I should rest every couple of days or so). I couldn't come up with any excuse, so I decided to try it again.
I've learned quite a bit since I last tried this, and I felt pretty good about myself. I think I handled the gear shifts a lot better; I would either find myself in too high or WAY too low of a gear every time I would try a climb last time. This time I found the right gear a lot more often and just kept on trucking away. It was a crazy feeling to just crouch forward and keep on pedaling (looking at the top of the climb was pretty intimidating) and then all of the sudden find yourself at the top!
I felt more comfortable on the downhills, too! Partially because I knew where the turns were so I could prep for them, but also because I trusted the bike a lot more, and it was a lot of fun!
There are so many times in my life (particularly when I was younger) where I would try something once. If I failed, I gave up on it, if I was successful I kept going with it. The same old habits started to kick in here. I didn't necessarily fail last time, but I wasn't all that good at it... I'm so glad I didn't give up! Our home teachers came over last night (bless their hearts, they called at 5:30 because one had realized he'd be out of town all weekend and asked to come over at 7) but the message was about how change in the gospel sense is the result of repeated good choices, not some dramatic moment. Whitney has been reading in her new favorite book that sudden changes in weight - fad diets, overexercise, etc. - are not lasting. The only way to have success - to achieve lasting change - is to keep going at what we know is right, even when the payoff seems so small, or even non-existent.
One of my favorite quotes that I put on the board in choir is by Anna Pavolova: "To tend unfailing, unflinchingly toward a goal; that is the secret of success." I think that sums it up pretty well!
This wasn't the most well crafted thought I've had, but its something that's been sticking with me today.