In my neighborhood there is a bridge that I like to cross as part of my normal runs. It’s a terrible hill with a slow, steep incline and a seemingly too short down ramp. Said bridge always kill me, but since there is always traffic, I am usually too proud to stop running…even when my legs are on fire and my chest feels like it is going to beat out of my chest. I get a strange sense of satisfaction from fighting up the hill and strangely I’m more inclined to walk the decline – partly because running downhill makes my knees feel weird and partly because I like to take the opportunity to enjoy the view of the city.
Today I realized that my approach to running that bridge has a somewhat bigger meaning if I apply it to the rest of my life. The uphill journey is a struggle, but since I always know that the top of it is just a few more paces away, I keep going. Knowing that the tough part will be over eventually keeps me fighting up that hill, one step at a time. This represents a lot of times in my in life when things haven’t always gone my way and it was painful, in some way, to keep moving on. But I did. In the relatively short time I have been alive, I have experienced numerous setbacks and iterations to my story; oftentimes unsavory situations have appeared as uphill battles that have been painstaking to climb. In hindsight I can vouch that that all things, even things as crappy as that steep incline, do indeed pass. And oftentimes it is the memory of that ascent that makes the good things worth appreciating.
Savor the good times. Instead of bracing for the next challenge, I’ve learned to fully experience my blessings and the beauty around me. I make a conscious effort to live in each moment (that sounds easier to do than it is; but it IS possible) and have learned to accept that what is, is. I accept that can’t eliminate hills, but I can push through them knowing that there is another, brighter side.