How I Remember The Hills

Becky and I are in Minneapolis today for an event called A NIGHT FOR HOPE.

We’re excited to be part of an event dedicated to promoting stories of encouragement through HOPE360. I’m looking forward to connecting with inspirational people from around the country. Plus, we get a VIP tour of US Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings brand new football stadium.

Five years ago, just a few miles south of the Twin Cities, I encountered the first true obstacle on the Mississippi River ride. I wrote a post called Hello To The Hills.

Eight days into the journey, it was the first time I’d ever cranked my bike and this kind of terrain. I’ll let you read the original post and I’ll comment below.

wisc-hillsToday we met the hills.

It began innocently enough. We set off on our carefully planned route and re-encountered our acquaintance with flexibility. Road construction and a washed-out bridge didn’t just divert us onto unanticipated roads—we found ourselves in an entirely unexpected STATE.

The back roads of eastern Wisconsin afforded striking beauty, but their designers didn’t have my weenie arms in mind. In Wisconsin we met the hills.

Hills—plural. One after another after another. Big, long, hills. Today was the longest, toughest day of cycling I’ve ever done. It took more than five hours to cover forty miles.

As I crept slowly to the top of one difficult climb, Becky waited at the top and asked, “How was it?”

“It was tough.” Then I smiled. “And I’m really glad we’re here.”

This is why we came. We didn’t prepare and scheme and train to do easy, flat trails. There’s plenty of that at home.

I could be sitting in an office, or staring at a ball game on TV. This is exactly where I want to be.

I feel great. We’ve been blessed with wonderful weather—though I wouldn’t mind if the wind blew a little more from the north. We’re working hard at something we believe in. We’re touching hearts.

When you’re fortunate enough to be in the middle of something like that, you don’t mind a few hills.

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What did you see?

I recall being almost completely in the moment. My writing reminds me of how difficult those hills were and how much I was okay with it being difficult.

It was a new experience, this awareness that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I had a powerful sense of being in touch with God and perceiving His touch in everything surrounding us.

The ride was hard. But more than that, it was remarkably calm and peaceful. I’ll trade some sweat and sacrifice for that sort of serenity any day.

Now that I say it, that’s Jesus’ invitation to us every day.

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