On a mountain bike ride recently I realized that I have become that rider. The one who a few years ago would have really impressed me. If the me of two years ago was on the same trail as the me of now, she would look in awe at some of the things I ride up, over and down. I remember watching riders go flowing by as I struggled or even stopped and walked sections of trails and thinking, 'wow, I hope someday I can ride some of that'.
There was a particular section of a local trail where I was always terrified. I did try to ride it one day and ended up going over the bars in an endo, and severing my front brake line in the process. I wasn't the type of rider at that time who should be riding without one of her brakes! I still have a scar on my elbow that reminds me of that mishap. Today instead of the scar reminding me of what I couldn't do, it reminds me of what can be done if you put your mind to something.
The Fateful Endo spot
This is now one of my favorite sections of my local loop. I can't believe that I was ever fearful of riding down it, and that I worried about needing brakes! On another day a few years ago I was running a local trail and saw some guys riding it. I was in awe that they were riding on that trail, it seemed technical enough to run. I couldn't even imagine at the time that I would ever attempt to ride my bike there. Guess what, not only did I ride it recently, it was FUN!
View of the trail from the other side
Improvement does not always happen instantaneously or linearly. There are days when I think I have mastered a new skill only to have to relearn it another day. The lesson I have learned from the me of the past is that I can do things that seem insurmountable by taking it one pedal stroke at a time. It is too bad that the future me can't go zipping by me on the trail now. I am pretty sure that I would be impressed! When I look at my many scars earned in the process of improvement I cherish them for, 'what you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this moment'. Without those scars me, myself and I would still be looking on in astonishment as some other rider rode our trails!