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  • Writer's pictureJen Henry

The Way To Victory Is Just Over The Hill

Hello Friends, So nice of you to drop by again. I hope you have found some joy in your lives these last few days and have felt motivated to push yourself a bit this last week, adding a few more victories to your life. It is a wonderful feeling to celebrate even the smallest of achievements. Keep in mind, several baby steps lead to one gigantic leap in the right direction (I just made that up and believe it whole heartedly) I was thinking earlier this AM that there could be some of you reading this, that might not be able to leave the house at this time, or could even be confined to your bed for various reasons. If that is you, know you have the rest of us cheering you on, to keep going, and not give up. You too can set goals and become the best you. We all have room for growth and improvement in our lives. I believe a key factor that can make the difference, is the choices we make.

Well, on to today's blog. My husband and I had a very special opportunity to take our teenage nephew Connor to his Cross-Country Mountain Bike Race. It was the first time we had ever seen him race. For being Southern California, it was fairly chilly that early morning. It had been raining the day before, so we were happy to not be dealing with the rain on top of 40 degree weather and mud puddles scattered about. The race was about 10 miles long and took approximately 50 minutes. My husband and I mountain bike ourselves for fun, and know it can get pretty intense at times. It was so impressive seeing all of the athletes, the coaches, family members and volunteers at the event. It is amazing what goes on at 6:00 in the morning. On the weekends, I am usually cozy in bed with my eyes closed that time of the morning. Who am I kidding, I'm usually doing exactly that, every morning at 6:00 am.

Back to the race. We arrived about 2 hours before the event so Connor could get situated, decide what gear to wear, and get his mind and body prepared for competition. He took the opportunity to familiarize himself with the course by taking out extra time before the race, to ride it carefully, and plan out his strategy. Before the race began, he took us to one of the prime locations to observe the race. It was at the top of a steep slope called Airforce Hill, which is one of the most challenging spots on the course. It is a spot that produces many challenges and some crashes each race. When we climbed up the hill and stood on the side of the track, we could see why. It was a steep slope that had a sharp left turn before getting to the top. The racers had to try to avoid a few small boulders that were embedded in the ground at the turn, which seemed to be the spot that tripped some of these racers up. Since there was another race going on, Connor took some time to get his strategy and observe what the best route was. Some approached the hill with momentum and confidence, others approached it without enough speed, some hit the obstacles head on and had to work hard to even stay on their bikes, others avoided the obstacles completely by going around them, and some only made if halfway up and had to think fast on their feet on how they were going to continue. The ones that only made it halfway, were forced to get off their mountain bikes and try to push their bikes up and over the hill. We all felt so sorry for those kids. They were in a real pickle and had to figure the best way through their predicament.

The big moment had arrived. We had to leave the race we were watching, and get to the starting area to watch Connor's race begin. We stood on the sidelines at the starting area, and cheered the racers on.

After they took off, we knew we had about 25 minutes until he made the approach to Airforce Hill, so we made our way to the top on foot. As the racers approached the hill, many had trained for this moment and were ready, others approached it and got half way up. What was so impressive is, each participant that only made it partially up the hill on their bikes, never give up, and showed such perseverance through it all! Although they were struggling and had only seconds to try and at least get out of the way for the other racers to pass, each one figured it out. It was such an amazing moment to see how the spectators began to cheer the racers on to help inspire them to keep going and to reach the top. All that were not able to peddle up, got off their bikes and were trying to either push or carry their bikes up. The crowd began to cheer louder as they were slipping and sliding all over the place, trying to push their bikes up Airforce Hill. What was so spectacular is, each racer made it to the top with such determination and the help of the spectators and other athletes cheering them on. It was such a wonderful moment to be a part of. I was so happy and impressed to see such determination and perseverance. As each racer finally made it up, by way of pedal or foot, the cheering got even louder to show them, just how proud we were :)

Connor was one of the racers that was fully prepared for the event, and made it up the hill on his bike. It must have felt like a Rocky moment to some of the racers who have had the opportunity to see the movie. Rocky Balboa the boxer, make it to the top of the never ending steps after months of training, proving to himself he was ready for the big event. We were so proud of Connor and all the other athletes for participating and using their bodies to the best of their abilities. There is so much to glean from being a part of this moment in time.

(The finish line)

(Way to go Connor!)

(Photo's taken by Mike Henry)

Quote of the day:

God doesn't always call the equipped, He equips the called.

Verse of the day:

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Until next time, continue to fight the good fight and push through adversity and growth. It makes all the difference when you have someone cheering you on, so be that cheerleader to someone else, they will never forget it!

Until next time, keep moving in the right direction and cherish each day.



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