A few weeks ago I was about 15 miles into what I planned to be a 30 mile bike ride around Visalia, Farmersville, and Exeter. Searching for a way to avoid a busy section of highway, I found a quiet country road that was absolutely beautiful. There was no traffic and this road was far enough away from everything to be quiet and peaceful. Just the hum of the thin 700cm racing tires on the hot paved road, the hypnotic rythm of the chain running over the chain ring moving me along the country road, and the angry growls and barking of a pursuing monster dog. Dog? Dog! Yikes!
I don't know if he was just chasing for sport or if he was hungry, but I wasn't about to wait there and find out. I shifted up into the big chain ring, jumped out of the saddle, and went into a sprint that made a Tour De France cyclist look like a turtle. It's amazing how fast a fat preacher can move a bicycle with the threat of being eaten by a mad dog. I escaped with my life...barely. My planned 30 mile ride ended at about 20 though.
I've thought about that little episode over the past few weeks. Here's a lesson I'm taking from that sprint. Adversity can sometimes bring out things in us we never knew were there. I had no idea that after 15 miles of riding I could spring from a comfortable 15 mph cruise to over 26 mph...Now I know. I think there are times when we are not reaching our full potential because we aren't being challenged. We get into an easy cruise mode and think we are tapped out and performing at our full potential. I guess every once in a while we need a big dog to chase us a little so we can see that we could be doing more.