You may not know this about me, but I have cycled 500+ kilometres, all at once, over the course of a week. Twice.
Of course, this was BC (not just before children, but indeed in ancient times), and it was for a good cause. The Big Ride was a major fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis – and an excellent way to lose up to five kilograms in one week.
I bring all this to your attention because I’ve been thinking a lot about mountains recently. Specifically, mountains of work. As discussed before, freelancing can be a rocky, rollercoaster of a road. Lots of hills and valleys.
I was reading a blog (and I cannot for the life of me remember which one, so if it was yours please let me know so I can reference you here) recently, which talked about weight loss as climbing a mountain, particularly if you had a lot to lose.
You couldn’t look at the whole picture, you had to look only one step ahead at all times.
Writing a novel is the same.
I commented that my wise friend L had some excellent advice about mountains. I did my first Big Ride with L and it was with her that I encountered some of my first big ‘hills’ during a training ride one morning. I looked up, saw what looked like Mt Everest rising before me, and immediately stopped.
“I can’t ride up that,” I said, preparing to dismount.
“Stay on your bike,” she said, severely for someone who is generally very laid back.
“I can’t ride up that,” I repeated, taken aback.
“They’re never as big as they look,” she said, dropping down about six gears and moving forward. “If you just keep riding, you’ll find you’re halfway up it before you realise.”
Doubting her, I did as she asked, swearing the whole time (in very genteel fashion, if you’re reading this Mum and Dad).
She was right.
Whenever I’m confronted with a mountain of any kind, I think of this advice. It doesn’t matter if you’re attacking piles of work or a novel or or a mountain road that would make a Tour De France rider blanch (well, maybe not, but you get my drift), the approach is the same.
The thought is worse than the reality. They’re never as big as they look. Stay on your bike