The first time I went mountain biking, my experienced cyclist friend who threw out riding tips like gossip from a desperate housewife tossed out a doozie I've never forgotten. "Momentum is your friend," he said. At the crest of the cactus covered mountain, I was to descend the tricky trail with reckless abandon, only to use that speed to help climb the next roller - instead of slowly grinding my gears uphill. Using speed, he said, was the key to improving my climbing and staying on the bike.
I still repeat this advice whenever I attempt a treacherous mountain trail. "Momentum is your friend. Momentum is your friend." Believe me, I do quite a bit of self talk on my bike. I psyche myself up to race down the dusty, dry, Arizona single-track paths. There are hazards on either side of me, barrel cactus on my left, Saguaro on my right, and dead ahead, the completely unstable sand of a dry river bed.
But my friend was right: pedaling faster and moving quicker through the hard stuff helps make the entire ride better. Just keep moving and the hills seem to flatten, the sand stays a little more level, and the up and down rollers become more like a carnival ride.
Not to get philosophical, but I've found this rule also applies to life. As long as you are moving forward, not remaining stagnant, problems seem to ease just a bit. Often the mountains of stuff that gets piled in our lives seem insurmountable. Problems keep us in bed, feeling depressed, struggling alone with no hope of solving or accomplishing anything.
Rather than feeling hopeless, make a move. Try climbing out of that rut. Start today to set or meet the goals you have for yourself. One day in a row is the only way to begin something great - whatever that goal may be. Chillaxin' is sweet and can be well deserved. But if the uphill seems beyond your limits, remember, momentum is your friend.
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