When I began my walking routine, my husband Peter and I established a 5K route through the streets in our neighborhood. I’ve continued to use that route, expanded it, did double and triple loops of it as I progressed from walking to cycling and then to running. The first time I encountered “the HILL” was on foot in my walking routine, then again on my bike, and then yet again on foot while running. It didn’t feel like such a mountain when I was walking, but I was moving at a pretty slow pace in those days. Perhaps looking at my neighbor’s gardens more than focusing on exercise and breaking a sweat. Oh come on, tell me you haven’t done that too! But the second time I conquered “the Hill”, I was on my bike. I rounded the corner coming off a breezy downhill stretch (glorious!) and make the U-turn up the next street, which started the climb. I came to notice a certain white mailbox which I soon labeled as “the beginning of hell!” That was the exact spot where the elevation started to burn my thighs as I pedaled. I switched to my lowest gear on my bike, and took it one pedal at a time. Moving from that mailbox to the next tree to the next driveway, etc, etc, etc. Huffing and puffing, the voice inside my head was screaming….”this is awful, this is horrible, this is terrible”. Slowly, painfully, I made it up “the Hill” — letting out a huge breath at the top. My God, I thought I was going to die. My thighs hurt, my breathing was poor, and I hated that hill. Hated. We were sworn enemies!! This was kinda sad since I had committed to biking every night through the summer with my husband. Ugh…..hate is a bitter emotion upon which to build a long-term relationship. 🙁
One Saturday, Denise delivered another golden nugget during one of our Weight Watchers meetings. It’s sooo good knowing I can rely on Denise’s secret camera into my life. She serves up those golden nuggets right on time!! Well it seems that way to me! But the truth is, it’s part Denise AND it’s part me. Remember, I was AWAKE. So I was looking for those golden nuggets. Mining for them. Isn’t it funny how you always seem to find what you are looking for? Try focusing on this sometime. If you go looking for excuses — you will find excuses. If you go looking for pity, someone will serve you up some pity. If you go looking for solutions…… voila! Denise serves up a golden nugget. So what was this shiny, valuable piece of info? Well it was about Reframing. What is Reframing, you ask? Well, in basic terms it means, ” stepping back from what is being said or done and trying to change the lens (or frame) through which this reality is being created.” So basically, it means if you change the beliefs or words you are using to create a certain situation, you can change the situation itself. Oooooh, sounds attractive right? I knew you’d like that one. Denise delivers another winner and right on time!
So I decided to go home and try this out, and what better target than Mount Everest herself — my dreaded Hill! That night, I went biking on my same route; came around that corner after the downhill, and headed Up. Up. Up Mount Everest. Only this time, I was Reframing my inner thoughts, focusing on 3 words, and only 3 words. “THIS – IS – GOOD”. With every pedal of my bike, I created a rhythm around those 3 words. “This is good, this is good, this is good, thisisgood, thisisgoodthisisgoodthisisgoodthisisgood”.…huffing and puffing, even whispering it aloud as I went up And, I eventually made it to the top. I gasped for air, like I had done before. But then, I noticed something. Something small, but ever so much better. I didn’t Hate it. Oh, don’t misunderstand me, it was just as hard, it burned my thighs. But I didn’t resent the hill for being in my bike path. It was better. I was better. The reframing made ME “better able” to get up the hill. Wait a minute, does “better able” mean the same thing as Capable? Holy smokes, I think it does!!! I like this Reframing. I might even come to love this Reframing…..and love is a much sweeter emotion upon which to build a long-term relationship. 🙂
Ciao for now……Diane