When I started out cycling again a few years ago, I resented every hill I went up. It was challenging and hard, and I hated them with a passion. Especially the long steep ones in the Yorkshire Dales. A sheep once trotted past me as I zigzagged up at a snail’s pace. However, there was a moment of realisation when every cyclist begins to look forward to each hill as a challenge. I can do this. I can do this better than last time. Cyclists may not have a smile on our faces but there is joy in our hearts (which are admittedly about to burst!) I don’t do much cycling now as having a daughter reduces the time I have available. But cycling taught me a lot. Cycle for a while and you’ll meet a challenging hill which you will enjoy. Maybe not whilst huffing and puffing but certainly at the top and definitely at the coffee shop. For me, there was always the joy of coming down and having a thrill with speed.

Life is much like cycling. Change and challenges are inevitable, just wait a while. They are the reasons for life. We become rewarded and experienced after these challenges. So many of us try to avoid change or challenges, probably because of a reduced self-esteem or because our anxieties get the better of us. But facing them enriches us.

Life becomes more rewarding when you begin to seek out new challenges. We can always change for the better. Just as a cyclist seeks out a new challenging climb, we need to seek out life challenges. They can be small hills at first but later you will want to try alpe d’huez! Trust me, you will!

Work has become more challenging for me. Tomorrow sees the start of my practice looking after a smaller practice nearby who’s GP has retired. I have the first two days to do in the new environment. I’m sure there will be a few hills and the odd mountain climb to go through but I’m looking upon it with relish.