It’s the Climb: Melody Takes on Hills and Shares the Power of “Yet”

I learned a valuable lesson on my 30 mile ride today: if a segment on Strava has the word “climb” in it, I’m probably not ready for it. Clay Road climb? Pass. Lincoln Road Climb? Hard limit. I mean, Lincoln Road looked like it would be OK, but I am here to tell you that it is a nasty little jerk. I started out with all intentions of finishing, but made it only halfway up before I humbled myself before The Hill, got off and pushed my bike. I was hoping to get a solid 100 feet farther, because then I wouldn’t have to dismount right by the couple doing yard work in front of their house. But, nope is the answer to that question. I considered feigning injury or bike malfunction, just to save face. However, since “live authentically” and all, I climbed off my bike, gasped for breath dramatically and said, “Well, that hill kicked my ass.”

I walked for another 3 or 4 minutes until I caught my breath, drank some water, and got back on my bike… and proceeded to beat myself up for the next 5 miles. “You should have never bought this dumb bike. You’re never gonna be able to do this. You just looked so stupid walking up that hill. You should just quit.”

OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS. WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?! It’s not just with biking or physical fitness, it’s with life– especially, I think, for women. We love our children and we cuddle them and feed them and care for them, but God forbid we feed them boxed macaroni and cheese for dinner. Call CPS immediately, unfit mother. We do it professionally- we provide excellent, personal customer service 98% of the time, but we let that 2% where we dropped the ball define us. To quote Jesus completely out of context (which is what we Christians love to do), it’s straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel. I rode 29.80 miles over hill and dale this morning, and walked MAYBE 2 tenths of a mile. And even when I was walking, I wasn’t quitting. I didn’t call Chris to come pick me up (although the thought occurred to me), I didn’t throw myself on the side of the road, as my 8 year old daughter is wont to do, and passionately proclaim, “NOT A STEP FURTHER. I WILL WAIT HERE FOR THE CAR, MOTHER.” Nope, I got back on that bitch and finished my ride.

As I have mentioned before, it’s the power of “yet, right? As my friend Lynn reminded her 1st graders all year when they were discouraged by something hard, “you can’t do that… yet.” “Yet” isn’t forever. “Yet” isn’t an indictment on your character. “Yet” doesn’t mean that you don’t have value as a human. It means that you are alive and evolving and growing and changing and if you can’t bike up that hill yet, you just walk it or crawl it, baby.

Hills that seemed daunting to me two months ago are no big deal these days. This morning I was laying in bed with a cup of coffee watching “Fixer Upper” and I yelled to Chris in the other room, “COME IN HERE THIS MOMENT!!!!!” I think he thought I was hemorrhaging or matched all the Powerball numbers on a lottery ticket. No, but it was nonetheless urgent: “Look at my thighs!!! Look at these muscles!!! You can actually see them and I’m not even flexing them!! Punch them! Aren’t they hard??!?” Cause listen you guys. I am getting these strong, amazing thunder thighs and they are gonna do big things. So Clay and Lincoln Roads, consider yourself on warning.
I am not there (yet), but I am coming for your asses.