Anschutz Hill (Finally!)

Back with Rich Dixon:


Last time you left me at the bottom of Anschutz Hill.

The road wound along the side of a bluff. Each corner exposed a stunning river view – and a steeper rise. I struggled just to move forward, even using my bike’s easiest gear.

Since I can’t get off the bike, “resting” on a hill involves locking my elbows to avoid rolling backward. Getting started again required extra effort, and I’d be in stop-and-go mode until I reached the top. Crank a few feet, rest, crank a bit more.

Around one last turn I saw the chief’s statue. The slope increased one final bit, but with the goal in sight I crawled those last few yards until at last the bike rested at the top of the bluff.

I conquered Anschutz Hill. We sat together at Chief Keokuk’s feet and marveled at a panoramic view of the river below. The reporter appeared and we enjoyed a great conversation.

+ + +

The photo captures my final climb to the top. Perhaps I should have heeded Becky’s warning. I’m glad I didn’t.

Anschutz Hill wrote a small chapter in a much bigger story.

Hope: A confident expectation rooted in faith.

In 1988, about five weeks after my injury, I sat on a smooth tile floor in my first wheelchair. I saw no hope in a broken body and a shattered life. No possibility, nothing worth living for.

I couldn’t move ten feet.

Twenty-four years later I climbed a steep, three-mile-long hill. During those years God guided hundreds of people into my life, people who pushed and inspired and wouldn’t accept I can’t. God worked through those people to place me at the bottom of a difficult hill and inspire the hope that allowed me to reach for an unattainable goal.

Hope changes what’s possible.

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