I stopped pedaling and began to coast down the hill as I felt gravity takeover. The road began to narrow as I accelerated and the trees turned into a green blur on the edge of my vision. Last year, I was on the same road during a heavy downpour and my brakes were useless. Today, I could at least feather them to slow slightly before entering the hairpin turns that defined this descent.

I felt like a rocket on the straightaways, my wheels slicing through the air and my body crouched over the smooth carbon frame. As the road began to turn back uphill, my momentum slowed and I was able to catch a gear again as I settled into my pace.

The road widened and the trees appeared again as they separated from the forest. The dashes in the middle of the road seem to lengthen, and I noticed a fractured piece of glass here, and a fuzzy caterpillar there, as individual details began to seep into my awareness.

People often associate slowing down with needing a break or not being able to handle the pressure. Sometimes you are forced to slow. Take advantage of the down time and soak in the finer points of your experience. You may find that you see something that you’ve never seen before.

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