Earlier this week I was riding home from the gym after a particularly heavy leg session. It’s a short 1.7-mile ride, but unfortunately, it’s uphill the entire way. It’s just a hill, but considering how heavy my legs were feeling after pushing my squats to the brink of failure, it sure looked like a mountain.

But I had to get home, so I jumped on my bike and pedalled for dear life.


I bought my bike about 6 months ago. I already had a $3000 Cannondale carbon road bike taking pride of place in my collection, but for that sort of money, my Cannondale doesn’t leave my sight whenever it leaves the house. Alas, there’ll be no leaving that baby out the front of the gym for someone to take a fancy to.

So I bought a cheap fixie. If you’re not in the know, that means a fixed gear bicycle, or as I like to tell myself every time I ride home from the gym… a bike only a fucking idiot would buy.

You see, I had this wonderful idea that I’d ride to the gym, train, then ride home. Makes sense, right? But I forgot about days like leg day, where having to ride a fixed gear bike uphill to get home feels like taking a bath in hot coals. Forget fire walking, forget ice baths, give me a nice warm fire bath any day.

*Fast forward*

So as I started my unenviable ascent, I started to feel the fire rising almost immediately. I will admit, I very seriously considered jumping off the bike after about 7 pedal strokes… but I didn’t.

Instead, I gritted my teeth and decided to focus on one pedal stroke at a time, not looking too far ahead as I knew if I did, I’d talk myself out of it. So I simply repeated this mantra as I pedalled:

One foot, then the other.

And somehow, I made it up the steepest part of the hill, and once that was over, I knew if I kept on pedalling, one foot at a time, I’d make it home without stopping.

Once I reached the flat, I had a little more time to think…

It’s then I realised, even if I couldn’t push the pedal around one more time, I can always get off the bike and walk. But regardless, I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other. So while getting off the bike is a change of pace, it’s still no failure. I know I’ll get home one way or another.

I started to think about all the times I’ve failed in my life – and I have a bad habit of lacing my inner monologue with talk of failure, so I had plenty of material to work with. I realised that, when I break my life down into small steps, every success and failure has simply been a step in my journey.

Despite the failures that have overwhelmed so much of my mindset; I am still walking, riding, driving and flying my way towards a life I love.

When I break my life down to the smallest detail – taking one step at a time – I am no failure at all. Instead, I am consistently trying, learning, implementing and adapting my way towards my ideal life.

As Arianna Huffington says:

Failure isn’t the opposite of success; it’s part of it.

And now I realise that failing is simply part of my journey…

I recognise that I am no failure at all.

As for you… you’re still walking, aren’t you?

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Originally published at www.tarafitness.com.au