I live in a very hilly part of Portland (suburb of Portland) actually. There are hills everywhere. The house I just moved from was in the middle of a hill, surrounded on all sides by hills going in all directions. I could actually start and finish my run going uphill (hence I almost always start from a friend's house - I hate starting a run going uphill.)
I find that I learn a lot of things about life running hills. It's one of the things that always brings me back to running. (Trust me, if you need to learn something, go run a hill.) I learned a couple more yesterday:
1. The hill might be the same, but everyone runs it differently. (And maybe I'd run it differently too- on a different day, at a different time... at a different weight.) - Sometimes we think that our families, or our friends should handle all life's hills the same way we do. They should lean forward, or concentrate harder, or count their steps, or whatever we do that gets us over the hard parts...but maybe they're just trying to get through the hard parts. We don't get to run the hill for anyone else.
2. Sometimes the top, isn't the top.- There's this one hill I run a lot. It's not the biggest or the steepest, but it is the sneakiest. You all know this hill - you think you are near the top and then the road changes its angle or whatever and you realize that you're no where near the top. The strange thing about this particular hill is that I don't notice this everytime I run it. Mostly, I realized, I notice it when I'm having problems in life that I want to push past. Problems that you thought you almost had beat, and then the road changes its angle and you realize there's a big old hill paved with problems still rising ahead of you. The only thing that keeps me running on these days is that I know the top must be up there somewhere. By definition every hill has to have a top. And I know that then, the hill will either level off so I can catch my breath or I'll finally get to coast down the other side.