This morning I was struck by another full-circle moment.
I am blessed to live and work in the town where I grew up. I get to swim, bike and run through many of the waters and neighborhoods that I knew as a little girl growing up in the ‘burbs of Wilmington, NC. This morning, I ran to my old neighborhood for some hill repeats. This little community, called Pine Valley, features a giant circular street around the Pine Valley Country Club golf course. Like every other street in Pine Valley, it was named for a civil war general. I grew up on Pettigrew Drive. My sister, myself and our friends Leanne and Stacie ruled that little corner of the world. It’s where we learned to bike and run.
As a kid, we knew we had made it when our parents let us ride our bikes around the three-mile circle named for Robert E. Lee. I loved that loop. But I only loved it counter-clockwise. If we rode it counter-clockwise, the downhill portion was longer, I could get up a good amount of speed and cruise up the other side. If we rode it clockwise, the downhill was steep and the uphill was long and arduous.
Now, I want you to remember that we live on the coast of North Carolina. I am being VERY generous when I use the terms uphill, downhill and hill repeats! I am not good at reading grade and elevation, but I’m pretty sure it’s only 100 yards of climbing at the most and only 6% grade at the steepest point.
But I was afraid. This hill gave me anxiety! I even remember throwing a little fourth-grade hissy fit when all the kids and moms went for a ride together one spring day. I refused to go clockwise! I turned around and met them all at a different spot on course - just so I wouldn’t have to ride down and up that valley hill.
Today, I realized how far I’ve come. Not only did I run up the hill - which is much harder than riding a 3Speed Raleigh bike - but I did FIVE repeats. And, I enjoyed it. I realized:
Sometimes it’s not the size of the hill, it’s the size of the fear you have to overcome.
And yes, doing the thing that scares you is the usually the one thing that will help you overcome it. Biking in the Alps and running the Tennessee hills certainly puts the speed bump in Pine Valley into perspective.
What have you done in your life to overcome a fear you had?