Monterey Bay at low tide with the Santa Lucia range in the background.
Positive psychologist, M. Csíkszentmihályi first coined the term “flow.” Prior to that, athletes used to just describe it as being in the zone. Flow is characterized as the experience of becoming so absorbed in an enjoyable activity that one loses track of time and surroundings. I think that perfectly describes riding hills. Challenging hills require all ones effort and attention.
The activity of flow should push you. Hills satisfy this criteria. Riding or walking hills can get you stronger twice as fast or in half the time. I can’t always ride for as long as I would like to because either my muscles complain or I have other commitments. There should be the possibility of traceable progress in a flow activity and hills again provide this in abundance. There are certain hills I have attempted where I would mentally mark the point I was forced to give up on the last attempt. Passing those spots is so satisfying.
Flow teaches you to rise to challenges.