Highs and Lows

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Nothing compares to the highest highs in life.  The overwhelming feeling that everything is going to be okay can be, well, overwhelming.  The giddy laughter and tummy butterflies keep us coming back for more.  We tend to forget why things felt so hopeless in the first place.  When you’re at the top of the mountain, you forget about everything.  It’s amazing.

Reality can be a bitch, though, and our lives are full of ups and downs.  If we experienced highs all the time, we would never learn how to truly live.  If everything was always good, how would we appreciate change?  If we always performed at the top of our game, how would we get stronger?  Simple…

We wouldn’t.

Nothing really prepares us for heartbreak and tragedy, except for heartbreak and tragedy.  It’s a vicious circle of frustrations and emotions.  When we are at our lowest point, we tend to forget how we dug ourselves out the last time.  We forget how we managed to hang on for one more day.  We forget how to let our biggest supporters help us.  We can’t see the forest for the trees.  Add lame metaphor HERE…

My point is, we forget how to forget.  And that never goes away.  Each struggle is its own mountain to climb, and we have to teach ourselves how to climb all over again.  Somehow we manage, we learn, and we live to see another day.  No one ever has to be alone, struggle alone, or experience heartbreak alone.  While I know this to be true for others, I must continuously remind myself that people want to be there for ME when my life is a struggle.  Helping others is what I’m good at.  Allowing others to help me is a constant battle.

My mother was always good at comforting others.  As much as we fought throughout my childhood, she was always the first person to drop everything for me.  I think that’s where I got it.  My mother taught me compassion.  She taught me how to give selflessly.  My mother taught me how to love, whole-heartedly, without fear.  She taught me how to feel things without limits.  My mother taught me everything I know about being passionate and emotional.  I might spend a lot of time with tears in my eyes, but they come from a meaningful place.  A place full of love.  I see so many people unable to feel ANYTHING, and I feel sorry for them.  While the lows might be devastating, the highs are worth every ounce of risk.

My bike has become part of this equation.  I have a lot of emotions and anger inside of me, desperately looking for a way out of this body, and cycling has been my outlet.  With ‘cross season quickly approaching, my focus is shifting from what I feel to what I need.  Sure, I have days when I’d rather hide under the covers and let the world get the best of me, but I can’t allow my feelings to take over completely.  I can’t allow the lows to affect my plan.  If I can stay on the path, I will reap the benefits of hard work.  And I can do all this WHILE having fun, because it’s supposed to be fun.

In the last few years I have definitely learned how to suffer.  I watched the love of my life fall in love with someone else.  I watch my mother wilt away before my eyes.  I stood strong against physical and emotional pain.  I started my life over multiple times, alone, with no one to guide me.  I learned how to get on that bike and pedal myself into an excruciating oblivion…and live to tell about it.  I survived.  I survived it all.  I can suffer.  Better yet, I can push myself past the point of suffering.  It’s all about perspective, on and off the bike.  It’s a beautiful thing.

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