Uphill Philosophy

Today, I was riding my bike to work which I do almost every day as I also work at my university gym. This 20-minute ride from my house is literally a steady uphill ride the whole way with what must be a 30-degree incline at the last 5 minutes. At first, this hill was a task! I think the first time I actually got off my bike and walked. Since then, I’ve been trying to attack this hill with a higher gear to make things harder to improve etc but this day; this day I was just feeling fed up with life in general and it was a bloody slog. It was at this point whilst listening to ‘Dot Rotton – Karmageddon

I saw this young man who I’ve seen at uni from time to time. This young man, a current student just like me was coming down the hill in his electric wheelchair with violent spasms which I think is cerebral palsy? His arms were swinging around uncontrollably with the wheelchair drifting over the grass headed for the road. At first, I got scared for this guy as I assumed he was alone, but that was the first thing I was wrong about. Just beside him, a university helper who seemed cool as a cucumber with him getting so close to the road was with him. 

It was then I realised, this dude never wanted to cross the road, he was in full control of his wheelchair, his seemingly uncontrollable arms and legs waving in the air like flags in high winds, he stared my bang in my eyes as I passed him and smiled a smile that totally took my breath away. Admittedly looked a little creepy but suddenly I understood what was happening… This young man was cheering me on!

With this, I began to cry! I cried because there was me, moaning about the mundane, monotonous task of riding this hill every day, dealing with my complicated life, and there was this young man who I can only imagine would welcome the chance with open arms, to ride that hill every day. This turned my few tears into quite a few more after thinking I’m so very lucky to even have monotonous problems!

Halfway up the hill, I had to stop myself from crying as I will be in work in 2 mins… That’s a little crazy but I also felt ashamed to be even crying like that and apologized to this young man in my mind and had another thought… I wondered why people say “I’m sorry” when hearing of a bereavement or serious life issue that happens.

When people here that, for example; their friend’s dog has died. They say “I’m sorry for your loss”. It never really makes sense when hearing people when saying that right… Why would you be sorry, you never killed the dog.

I think this saying has come from people feeling the pain, getting upset and having to apologise for their reaction by crying. I don’t have the issue this young man has, I am able to walk and run and play sports. How dare I even think about getting upset for him, I felt like this was condescending and shallow so felt the need to apologise to him for losing control of my emotions. This leads me to believe that this is where the whole “I’m sorry” thing comes from. It may not, but never-the-less I was able to look at this situation from outside of myself and sort of discovered some stuff.

Lessons learned

Explore a deeper appreciation for things, be aware and to situations and feelings. The good stuff is in the details; make time for the details. When I see him next, I will make an effort to repay him for his help. 😀

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: