I discovered something amazing today... that my bike has gears. Lots of them. And when I use those gears, hills become a whole lot easier. And when hills are easier, I am a much faster and happier rider.
I know it seems crazy that I'm saying this NOW, after having spent the past year racing and riding and, of course, falling. But from the first time I got on a bike last year, gears were the most frustrating and difficult skill to learn. I just couldn't figure it out and usually ended up walking my bike for much of the trail.
However, that all changed today - I FINALLY got it! I headed out to another one of my favorite trails, one that has climb after climb after climb. It exhausted me last year and I never once made it up all those hills without some walking. Not today, I zoomed up all the hills, no problem, changing gears all over the place! I just can't believe what a difference it made.
To think I could have been doing this all along... that thought slightly depresses me.