Life On A B-I7

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

This poem was written when I was cycling around the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York.


I learned once again, facing a hill

you have a choice to make.

Several choices.

Go up or go around is the first choice.

To go around is rarely the right choice.

It is an unsatisfying option.

Go up.

Once you start the climb, you must commit. Shift down and keep moving.

Look up if you can,

If you can’t look up,

focus on the ground in front of you,

keep moving.

A time will come when you must face defeat.

The hill will laugh at you,

but you have the last say.

You can accede defeat and turn around,

or you can continue the climb on foot.

When so doing,

the hill will tell you it has defeated you.

As long as you keep moving,

You will reach the top.

Once there,

you can look down on the hill and say:

“You have not defeated me today!”

The hill will laugh and say:

“I have many sisters.”

“One of them will succeed where I have failed.”

This is just idle chatter.

There is no hill that can’t be conquered.

That is what it means to be human.

The hills were put there to test us.

There is no hill that can break us.

Hills are a part of us.

Hills are the challenge that bring out our best.

Without hills, life would be meaningless.

It is the hills we choose to climb that define us, that make us who we are.

The beauty of cycling,

is that it is an embodiment our existential reality.

It is a physical expression of that reality.

You see it with your eyes,

You feel it with every beat of your heart,

with every breath you take in,

with every ache in your legs.

They are our life.

Brad Adkins