On The Up And Up

The view from Rollington Hill - Click to viewWhat a perfect day it’s been for cycling around The Purbecks. Beautiful cloudless skies, gorgeous sunshine and a welcome cooling breeze, who could ask for more?Usually I tend to stick to the lanes and back roads, but not today.

Today was mainly off road and if we weren’t going downhill, we were climbing, Dorset is anything but flat. My accomplices on this picturesque mission were Mike and BJ, two fellow vegans and Mike’s mate, Mike, all keen cyclists.

Now the highest point on our route was the best part of 200 meters above sea level, 200 metres above the Sandbanks chain ferry where we all met up at 8:30. By 9:00 we hadn’t even covered the first mile of our quest, delayed by the first of four punctures we were to suffer en-rout.

As is the nature of things, the best views are situated at the summit of hills or mountains. To enjoy those views, one has to climb to the summit and our case, that meant cycling up some really interesting little inclines.

Anything that requires effort also requires determination in order to achieve it. Some of the paths we followed today were an excellent test of anyone’s determination. They had sneaky habit of disguising the apparent summit around a corner, and rounding the corner one was all too often confronted by a further climb.

The trick I employ, in such circumstances, is to focus on the next few metres ahead. Looking up at the remaining climb only serves two purposes, the first is to dishearten me, by revealing the extent of the effort remaining, the second is to distract me from the finer details of the path immediately ahead, important when it is strewn with loose rocks and gravel.

In fact, it’s very much like achieving anything in life. Your efforts require a determination in order to bear fruit, you have to be focussed on the next element of your goal rather than be distracted by the enormity of your task. With determination you can achieve anything, you just need to take it one step, or in the case of today, one pedal stroke at a time.

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