This morning, this memory from about six years ago today popped up into my world. This was the day that I biked to the top of Mortirolo, a very famous mountain in Italy. This mountain belongs to the professional cycling race known as the Giro d’Italia. Mortirolo is one of the the most talked about mountains in the road cycling world. Some of the pro cyclists themselves have claimed it to be the most challenging climb they have done. Yet, little ‘ole me somehow made it up there, one pedal stroke at at time, pigtails in tow. It’s true.
Sometimes I still can’t believe that I did make it to that summit. The picture of me was taken right at the point where I doubted that I could do it, and wondered what I was doing there. My husband, who has played the role of my coach numerous times over the years, convinced me that I was choosing to talk myself out of it. He was right. He told me to do one switchback at a time. He told me not to stop during a steep incline as it would be really hard, if not impossible, to get going again. He told me to take a break at the flatter part of each turn. He told me breathe, and to regroup during each break.
Putting the pieces of advice he gave me into action, I made my way up some of the steepest sections of road that I have ever encountered.
Gaining about 1300 metres over a measly 13 km, the middle sections of this climb are ridiculous. I found myself standing up in the pedals and my heart pounding as if trying to escape from my chest. By the time I reached the end of each hefty switchback, the advice of my coach to regroup was critical!
For those really interested, check out this cool site I found: Mortirolo
Every moment of that day still lives vividly in my mind. It is really hard to believe that I made this climb about six and a half years ago!!! How timely that this memory surfaced into my world on a day which I find myself in a very reflective state. My mind is filled with thoughts of where I want to go. I find myself questioning what is my vision? What are my goals? What impact do I want to have? Where do I want to be next year?
Reflection is very important. It allows us time to think about where we are headed, and to truly dive into our inner thoughts to help guide us in the direction that we choose. It provides us a space to dig deep to identify what is truly important to us at the current place we are in. Knowing what is important to us provides a compass to determine which direction we should head. The direction that is right, for our own personal journeys. The result is a more clearly articulated vision, set of goals, and thus a set of stepping stones to reach them.
While reflecting upon where we currently are allows us to define the path forward, it is also extremely important to look back to where we have been. We must look at what we have done. We must remind ourselves of what we have already accomplished. WHY??? Because we don’t give ourselves enough credit. Because we easily forget the amazing things that we have already accomplished.
Because sometimes it takes a little reminder for us to believe what we are truly capable of accomplishing!
Thus, I challenge you to take a few minutes and reflect. Get out your favourite journal and sparkly pen. Or just a piece of paper and any old pen laying around will do. Start with what is important to me. Just write down whatever first comes to mind. Even just for one minute. Then move onto what do I want to accomplish / do / try / attempt? Try to write whatever comes to mind for one minute. Everything is worry of writing down. Everything. Finally, list at least five things that you are truly amazed that you have accomplished. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was, or how ‘big’ or ‘small’ you think it is. Again, everything is important.
Looking inwards is important. Reflection is important. These things are our own compasses to guide us towards where we truly know we want to be. Why hold back? I see no reason at all. Invest in yourself. Start living to your fullest potential. Start now.
Trust me. If I climbed Mortirolo, you can do whatever it is you are telling yourself you can’t. Take your first step. Do this exercise in reflection, and start defining you way forward. Do it today!!!