It's an uphill battle

The Factor is patience.
I watched as the muscles and tendons in his calves churned the pedals on his Giant. I am behind, I am in labor and I am beginning to get frustrated.
I should be able to climb this trail. It is nothing more than a long, uphill grade. Stuff I've done numerous times.
Triumphs of the past beat on my present.
My friends should drop my ass.
The trek is auto-shifting, the result of a stretched cable or a derailer that needs to be tweaked. Another couple of pops of the gears, and I have to get off. I have to hike-a-bike.
Now, I am pissed.
“You got it, buddy,” The Factor said, his voice calm and low. “Let’s see if we can make the adjustment.”
The adjustment couldn’t be made, but at least we’ve got the lower gears working. So I can climb.
And there is more to climb.
The destination is The Top of the World, a flat spot on the western hills that affords a beautiful view of my city. The sun will set soon – we’ve all taken off our sunglasses – and the lights of the city start to come alive. Car headlights mingle with sodium vapor streetlights that start to activate.
I still feel frustrated.
The Factor, his voice calm, said he will get me better.
“It’s all about riding,” he said. “It’s all about getting out there.”
And it is.
On the downhill, the confidence began to return. The climbs, although frustrating, felt great.
Time is all I need, training.
And great friends to ride with.