I would like to conclude this series on leadership lessons from RAGBRAI with an image I’ll never forget. ?This one truly touched my heart…
Help push someone else uphill.
The most touching scene of the race was of a father and daughter early in the ride.?? The entire race had a handful of young cyclists.? This girl must have been about 12 years old pedaling on her own bicycle next to her father.
I never met them, but as I rode closely behind them downhill the girl had no issues. ? As we hit the bottom of the hill, we started climbing and we all started slowing down. ?Midhill she was slowing down more than her father, so he put his hand on her back and as he rode he pushed her ever so gently as she pedaled as hard as she could.? Throughout the entire hill, he kept his hand behind her and she stayed with him alongside everyone else they were riding with.
Now, I am sure he did not have to bring her along.? There were not many kids there.? And even though I did not see them finish the entire ride, I can only imagine how a 12 year would feel conquering such a big ride! ?What a way to empower her, to make her feel accomplished and capable.? And yes, she could have stopped and walked the hill.? He risked riding a hill with only one hand just to give her the great feeling of finishing hills.
Even though that was the only hill I saw them riding, I am sure she got better and likely did not need his help on most hills.? But I know he was there for her because these kinds of people are always there for us ? insisting that we come along, that we go the full journey with them.? They are there in case we need them. ?And ever so gently, on the hills of our life journey their hand is there to make sure we can keep up?to make sure we cross the finish line.
As a leader, who have you brought along with you?? Who have you helped along the hills of life?
I spent an amazing week in Iowa at RAGBRAI.? I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to be active and outdoors.? Even though I?ve never had it on my ?bucket list,? I should have.? I will definitely try to go back and maybe take others with me.
As we cycle through life and pedal through leadership, I know you will cross the finish line, my friend!
With your lungs out of breath and your muscles worn out, remember to keep pedaling and to help someone else up the hills.
PS – If you know someone who may benefit from this blog, please consider sharing!