I’ve been going to a spinning class a little over a month now at least twice a week. It’s the type of workout that takes me out of my comfort zone within the first 10 minutes of class. I’m already dripping in sweat, gasping my breath, and quenching my dry thirst. And I’ll admit it – I always want to quit – but I don’t even dare. I suck in a more air, bracing myself for 50 more minutes to keep riding on.

One class last week started off like that for me in the dimly-lit room. I’m not sure how long we’ve been working out, but my shirt was completely drenched and I’m almost out of water. Our instructor was prepping us for a long uphill climb that would take about two songs, approximately six to seven minutes altogether. She gets us to visualize the top of the hill and to focus on reaching it without stopping, without releasing the resistance barrier on our bike. We are reminded to relax our shoulders, arms, and hands on the bars and let our legs work the pedals in complete perfect circles to keep on climbing. I’m geared up, taking in everything she said and remembering one of Chris’ favorite lines, “Hills are our friends, Steph!”

The room gets totally dark with only the light from my instructor’s IPOD and we were climbing. Then suddenly soft keys hit the piano and I hear the gentle voice of Miley Cyrus singing,
“I can almost see it.
That dream I’m dreaming.
There’s a voice inside my head saying,
‘You’ll never reach it.’”

Really? Uh-uh. I’m going to reach the top of my mountain.

“Add on,” the instructor yells, interrupting my thoughts.

Huh? More resistance?! I take in another deep breath and dig deep within my core. I relax my shoulders and my hands on the bars. I look up ahead for the top. I’m going for it. Then I hear,
“There’s always going to be another mountain.
I’m always going to want to make it move.
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose.”

Oh no! I’m not losing to this hill!  She sings on,

“Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side.
It’s the climb.
The struggles I’m facing,
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down but
No, I’m not breaking…”

Nope, I’m not giving up!

“Just gotta keep going
And I,
I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on.”

I’m climbing my hill, listening to these words that were having a deep impact on me. The base of my hill to about halfway reminded me of all the appointments Chris and I went to, only to find out that the treatment regiment didn’t work against the cancer and we’d need to find another way to keep on climbing that mountain – to fight the cancer. At the half-way mark, my hill changed as I reflected on the past three years of grieving my husband while trying to write our story. I took a big risk to leave my career for something that was way out of my comfort zone – writing, which I have struggled a lot. I was knocked down many times, but never once I thought of quitting. Never once, did it break me.

As the song was winding down to these words, I focused on reaching to the top of my hill:

“Keep on moving
Keep on climbing
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about…
It’s all about
The climb
Keep the faith…
Keep YOUR faith!”

I’m still climbing my mountain: completing my book – working out the final touches of it before releasing it to you – and I’m keeping my faith.

Whatever hill or mountain you’re climbing right now, it’s not “about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.”

So don’t let it break you.

Be strong.

Keep your faith.

Keep Riding On!

(Go to my Facebook or Twitter page to hear the song “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus)

3 Responses to “Keep Riding On!”

  • Karen says:

    What another great inspiriation to my day. You really make someone (ME) know how lucky I am to have what I have in my life (my family and YOU my friend) and to keep climbing my hills of the day no matter how small or big they be for that day. I will keep this blog close to my heart everyday.

    Love ya friend,


  • Debbie Hermann Houghton says:

    I LOVE your writings Stephan, and cannot wait to read your book. In a Time when so many people are afraid to speak up for God, I am truly inspired by what you have to say. I Love talking about how God works in people’s lives.

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