The Climb, Resistance, and Life

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“The higher mountain, the harder the climb, the stronger you get, and the better the view.” Dr.G

This phrase came to me yesterday during our 4.5 + hr ride from East Sac to Auburn. I love this ride but it’s not for the weak leg’ed. Lots of climbing, lots of miles, and lots o’fun! It was a beautiful day and the time change made for more daylight on the latter end of our ride. This was our second time doing the ride this year. We were last out on Super Bowl Sunday. Overall, it was a great way to gage how my power, mental focus, nutrition, and strength training, were coming together in prep for Ironman Texas in May 2013.

However, if you have read my previous posts sometimes I refer to long Sunday rides as “church of the road” (a phrase I adopted from my tri-buddies in Wichita, Kansas) or “my therapy.” I often have my deepest thoughts or insights when training. The phrase noted above surfaced during my ride yesterday and kept me focused. It also reminded me that often the hardest climbs in life have the best views, but the best views are often seen through a stronger version of ourselves. Not just on the bike but in life.

It also reminded me that if I wish to be my best self, in life and sport, than I must be willing to accept the “hard climbs in life.” Acceptance does not mean I have to like it but it does insinuate that it may be necessary to get from where I am to where I want to be. Acceptance is also the opposite of resistance and resistance almost always makes any climb or journey harder. But encountering resistance can be helpful too, it also makes me stronger. However the difference between the wind resistance on an uphill climb and having my bike in the hardest and biggest gear on an uphill climb are very different. One I have control over the other I do not. To deal with resistance I must be mindful and be skillful. Mindful in responding to the resistance in a non-judgmental manner and not reacting to it, and skillful in a manner that increases awareness and maximizes empowerment over what is actually within my control, like my gearing, my emotions, my attitude, my pace, etc. Do you notice how this applies to life too? How it may apply to a work situation?  Negative people?  Goals? Training or sport performance?

Through encountering the temporary, and possibly necessary, challenges, climbs, and the resistances in life we get stronger. When we are stronger we see life differently from that vantage point. Dr. Wayne Dyer says it beautifully, “when you change the way you see things, the things you see change.” When we get through our challenge and to the top of the climb we WILL have risen higher. Hopefully we gain a higher perspective of ourselves and larger perspective of what we are capable of accomplishing.

Meet your “climb” with grace, grit, and a deep knowing that you ARE capable of overcoming and rising higher…And always remember that the “climb” is temporary, the storm is temporary, the challenge or set back is temporary, the pain is temporary and it will eventually pass. So keep shining, keep climbing, and reaching for your peak!

A few pics from our ride yesterday…Rock The W!

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The Flower Farm-A great coffee house, winery, and fruit stand spot on our way back.

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Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is sport and performance psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California and works with elite sport teams and athletes across the country. She is competitive athlete herself and enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family and traveling.