On a Plateau

Take OffThe imagery of success is up, climbing, reaching new heights, blasting off like a rocket. None of that can be sustained forever and we often hit a plateau in our lives, careers, our ascents to greatness. It is these moments when we can rest, regain our strength for the next struggle, the climb to the next level.

Why then does a plateau feel more like I’m stuck, like I’m not getting anywhere, maybe even falling backward? For someone like me I need constant stimulation, a What Next to work toward.

I saw a parallel to this over the weekend while on a bike ride in the area where I grew up. What makes this my favorite area are the hills. Where I normally ride there are no hills just flat roads like a perpetual plateau and for me that’s terrible.

I ride 13 miles through several towns ascending most of the way until I reach my highest point which also happens to be Bike Closeupadjacent to a mental institution (some say I’m crazy for liking the hills). At this point I turn around and cover what took me several minutes going up in just a minute or so going down, gaining momentum. Then I hit the flats, a plateau.

Another rider came along side me at a traffic light and we talked a bit and when the light changed we pedaled away. Typical of how things go on flat roads I was not able to keep up with him and watched as he got smaller and smaller as he rode farther in front of me.

The other rider reached the bottom of the next hill before me. When I got to the bottom I noticed I was gaining on him and as the road became steeper I was gaining more. I’ve always been strong on hills and I enjoy the struggle. It turns out that I like that in life too.

Do you view a plateau as boring? Do you like a challenge? When are you the most productive? Please share your thoughts with us.

Posted in General, Outdoors, Success and tagged , , by with 2 comments.


  • nancy boan says:

    I am always so excited when someone (myself included) has an experience like you did catching up with the other rider as the road became steeper and can equate that to life experience……to take an incident and see far beyond what is presented to you in that moment.

  • When I reach a high mark, I ask what’s next 😉 Seriously, I do. I look at the plateau as just a momentary breather and keep pushing forward. We all need to see ourselves obtain a goal, then push forward not backwards to the next. Moving forward is how we advance ourselves and our purpose. Great post, AJ

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