The other day, my father took me on a bike ride through some trails by our neighborhood. He goes bike riding rather often and I don’t at all so I was definitely expecting a challenge.
But, to my surprise, when we started, it was all downhill. As we kept going, the downhill continued, some bits growing uncomfortably steep. I was take back by the fact that there wasn’t much pedaling at all required, and I was especially surprised when we came to a stop and my dad told me we’d reached the end. I was like “Wait, what? I survived? No way.”
He was smiling. He always smiles, but there was something about this smile as he said, “Yeah, you made it. Now we have to go back.”
My soaring confidence immediately screamed MAYDAY and nosedived into the dirt.
We have to go back? Well, obviously—but the thought hadn’t even occurred to me. I stared back at the daunting hills I knew my skinny little legs would crumble on and silently groaned. Couldn’t I just call an Uber or something?
On the plus side, the view from where we were was amazing. Just beyond the hills and palm trees, the glistening ocean was in sight. My father reminded me that the view was worth it, then began pedaling. I followed.
To make a long, agonizing, and somewhat hilarious story short, my skinny little legs did crumble, and at one point I almost threw up. BUT… I made it.
Several days later (when my legs stopped feeling like jello), I went out for another bike ride—alone—and somehow ended up back at that trail that put me on sanity’s edge. It must be cursed, because, for whatever reason, I started inching down it. Almost against my will. Then stopped. I stared down it, remembering how fun the downhill was and how gorgeous that view would be. Then I looked up, remembering how hard it would be getting back up. Still, I let go and sped to the bottom, knowing the struggle I’d face when going back up.
After taking in the beauty of gravity and the view at the end, I turned around without hesitation, put the bike into the lowest gear, and pedaled.
It’s easy to let go. It’s easy to fall, and sometimes it’s even fun. It’s simple to let gravity take over and take the weight. Even when what’s at the bottom is a dark trench full of monsters, it’s still so enticing to just… fall.
But you have to be prepared to get back up. It’s a task that won’t be easy. It’s a ride that’ll test you in more ways than you can imagine. You’ll feel like breaking, and as gravity temps you with a tug, you’ll wanna give in, let go and fall—but you have to keep going. For however long it takes. The bottom is no place to stay, and you’ll realize that once you get to the top. The views are great, and though it’s hard to imagine during the climb, you’ll understand once you get to where you’re going. You just have to get there.
“I know it’s hard
but no one said it’s easy
but there’s only one way out”
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