I #lovemnwinter! Today, I love difficulty.
Last night, my partner and I got two rather ominous fortune cookies:
- A dose of adversity is often as needful as a dose of medicine.
- All things are difficult before they are easy.
Biking in winter is a challenge, it takes preparation, fortitude, and a certain level of physical well-being. Early this winter I suffered an embarrassing short-term injury (unrelated to biking) that required time and rest to fully heal. Often seeing cyclists while making trips across the cities by foot and by bus made me feel so jealous and impatient for my body to heal. My internal monologue was overtaken by shouted “Should” phrases when I saw cyclists:
I should be on that bike!
I should be able to do that now!
I should be moving my body staying warm instead of waiting for this bus in the wind!
Getting back on my bike after I healed felt both like the light at the end of the tunnel and the beginning of a whole second tunnel. Often the hardest part of winter biking for me is deciding to do it-- getting dressed and getting out the door with enough time to make my trip without feeling rushed and panicked. The difficulty, both of the deciding to do and the actual doing, is part of what makes winter biking so much fun. I’ve heard this is called Type 2 fun, fun after the fact-- fun to accomplish. Watching cyclists push through and often walk through my forever-unplowed bike boulevard street during the last 1-foot snowfall reminded me that everyone shares the difficulty and the joy of accomplishment.
Winter is a great teacher, and this winter is teaching me that the difficult things are always going to be there, and they often become easier with practice and patience.