It started with casual riding and enjoying it, then to wanting to stay up with faster riders on group rides. I kept the number of miles increasing and the rides to include hills that made them harder. I was always dropped and rode by myself since I could not keep up. As I made an effort to ride 800 miles in August and ended up at less than 600 it still motivated me for a more difficult challenge. Recruiting a friend and riding partner made the goal more thinkable. That was Jesse. We talked about it and the pursuit became our riding goal.
While conditioning has definitely improved this is just a step in the right direction that will hopefully continue.
As the process began I have had many thoughts as I struggled up the hills, panting and sweating barely able to pedal. I realized that life's difficulties and challenges are like hills, some are long and some are short, sometimes you can see the top and sometimes you can't. You just keep pedaling though because someone else has done it and you shouldn't quit just because it is hard. Stop and rest if you need to but keep going. When you get to the top there is relief and usually a down hill ride that will be enjoyable and possibly exhilarating.