After 2 consecutive days of over 5,000 ft elevation gain my legs were fatigued today. As I tackled one tough climb after the next resulting in more elevation gain today than on any ride to date, I experienced poverty of strength. The mind was willing, but the legs just wouldn’t respond. In addition, I was attacked by dogs on two separate occasions, both times while ascending an incline of 12% grade. Add to this oppressive humidity and the day was nearly overwhelming.
As I focused on process to get through the day, there was more than one time I doubted whether I could ride the number of miles planned for the day. The hills seemed like walls that were nearly impossible to climb due to my poverty of strength. I became discouraged and frustrated with my painfully slow progress. But I remembered that I am not alone in this ride. I am on God’s mission and He will give me strength. I have a great support system as Pam is at every turn to give me emotional support along with cold water and fresh food. So I simply pedaled slow and steady today to complete the ride understanding that it’s not about how fast I can ride but how much I can learn as I connect with people along the way.
My experience today once again reminded me that we all suffer from some type of poverty that makes our challenges seem insurmountable from time to time. You may experience spiritual, emotional, relational, physical or material poverty to name just a few. Today I had a poverty of strength forcing me to rely on God’s strength. Those with little children who suffer from material poverty must feel like they are trying to climb steep hills day after day, especially if they don’t have a good support system around them. That’s what this ride is all about – giving them a support system by providing diapers so they can be the parents they desire to be. The ultimate solution to our poverty is Jesus. Paul says it like this in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” Today I experienced poverty that then allowed me to become rich. The last descent of the day was actually the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike as I coasted down a 12-14% grade with hairpin turns. God is good!
Ride Stats: Total Miles- 76.9 Elevation Gain- 6,614 ft Avg Speed- 9.7 mph Max Temp- 93.3 with 95% humidity