When asked how to improve in cycling, Steve would always say “3 things; time in the saddle, time in the saddle and time in the saddle”. This was just one of many pearls of wisdom I learned from Steve. The thought process behind it, that of taking the time to repeatedly practice and do what you are trying to improve upon does not just apply to cycling. I try to correlate this principle to help me get through adversity; be positive, be positive and be positive.
This is so much easier said than done. Of course, when everything was going well in my “fairy tale” life, it was easy to be positive and preach positivity. When the shit hits the fan as it did in 2013, it was a whole new ball game and a struggle beyond comprehension. Even though I am getting better at coming to grips with what I am dealing with in life, there are still days that I hate it when people tell me to be positive and that I have so much to be thankful for. There are still times (like right now as I write this) where I want to scream as loud as possible to the heavens “Why me?” and wallow in self pity over the cards life has dealt me. What is there to be positive about in my life? I lost my best buddy and soul mate to suicide and now I have been diagnosed with a progressive disease that has no cure.
Why do I tell you this? I want people to know that I am only human and my emotions still run the gamut over what has transpired in the last few years of my life. Intellectually, I get it, I must remain positive, keep my sense of humor and be thankful for what I have (and I still have so much). Putting that into practice is another story. However, the more I write (which is cathartic for me), I am better able to rein in the negativity and hopefully share my emotions with others so they know they are not alone in what they may be feeling when they are in the depths of despair, a place I have been many times and still visit to this day. It is part of the human condition.
Sooner or later, if we haven’t already, we will all have our crosses to bear and no one gets a free ride with a life full of only happiness. No matter how things appear on the outside, what one is going through internally may never be revealed, but that does not diminish the pain they may be struggling with. Sad to say, we must experience the pain to truly appreciate the good things in life, a lesson that is not as easy as time in the saddle, time in the saddle and time in the saddle.