Thank you for the singleness of mind that kept me focused, calm, alert and at peace blocking out every stray thought and emotion except for the now moment and the current ground beneath me up the long ascents.
Thank you for the breaks that slowed my steep descents in spite of the heavy moisture that turned to droplets and drenched my rims yet cooled them so that they did not overheat due of my constant breaking.
Thank you for my tires that did not slip, slide or tear under the tremendous pressure and conditions I inflicted on them.
Thank you for the four water bottles that did not leak and contained the fluids that kept me hydrated.
Thank you for the oatmeal I ate just before my ride and the food bars the kept me carb’d and energized during the climbs.
Thank you for the sun that briefly peaked through the heavy clouds when I reached the top of ascent number nine, smiling with its warmth and cheering me on for my final ascent to come.
Thank you for all of the angles I met along my trek.
The jogger who, on his own journey, passed me each time I ascended and descended, politely nodding to each other at first and later sharing with each other passing words of encouragement as we both drew nearer to our personal goals.
The young couple that said, “God bless you!” to me when I reached ascent number eight.
The older couple that paused and joyfully applauded me as I attacked the last 500 feet of ascent number ten.
And the lovely lady I met on my final descent who when asked me why I climbed so many times, held her hands to her cheeks and her fingers to her eyes to fight back tears as I described to her what it was like being in the now moment; we shared a moment with each other and then I bid her a wonderful day.
Seven months ago I was lying on the living room floor of my apartment with a torn right patella tendon, writhing in pain while in the back of my mind imagining this day and the now moments that are now in my past and are apart of my history of wonderful experiences.
Today, I was as agile as a Falcon in the wind, as strong as a bear running in the forest, as peaceful as a monk in meditation and one with the hill.
My cup runneth over.
Hycel B. Taylor III