Two summers ago I was in the midst of one of the worst years of my life, working at a job I disliked, dealing with all manner of expensive legal issues, breaking up with a girlfriend, and most of all, difficulties regarding my relationship with my daughter. I was miserable. All I could do to stay sane was ride, and ride I did.
I'm currently doing pretty well by way of comparison, and I've been riding into some decent summer form. I set a PR on part of Golden Gardens the other day, but not the full segment. I've been chasing my PR's since that miserable summer when I set them all. All that emotional baggage I was carrying made me lose a ton of weight, and I was riding lots and just floating up hills. Every time I look at a PR, it's from that terrible summer.
It's funny to me that those are the times I'm now chasing, that I could look back on a time so craptacular in my life and realize that it wasn't so bad. There were good, redemptive things that I made happen through simply riding. Perhaps we can see now the blessings in life that seemed like curses at the time and realize that what seems cursed now will someday be a blessing as well.