Conquering your fear(s)
It’s Friday again. It’s crazy how quickly time goes.
I promised at the start of this blog I wouldn’t talk about myself. However, I thought I could break that rule just for today to discuss my recent experience with fear.
Last Friday I signed up for an Olympic length Duathalon. It consists of a 2 km run, 42 km bike, and 10 km run. I thought this would be a smart and more safe alternative to a Triathalon, as I am afraid of being swam over and drowning (this is not the fear I will discuss today however). After signing up, I realized I needed a road bike – a mountain bike just wasn’t going to cut it.
Fortunately, one of my friends had a road bike and was generous enough to offer it up for a couple of months (thank you Lisa:)). When I picked up the road bike I was immediately freaked out at how light and narrow it was. I thought to myself “this thing is going to hold me up?”. Her husband said I could try it out right then and there to see if it was OK. I politely declined as the thought of getting on this thing in front of him and riding around sent me into an internal panic.
So last week I asked Evan (bf) to accompany me to the back country roads so that I could attempt to ride this thing in private. The first challenge was getting my feet in the pedals. The pedals aren’t clips (that would be way too intense) but have straps for your feet. In order to get your foot in you need to sort of flip the pedal up and then slide your foot in and tighten the strap. This may sound simple, but it’s not – at least not when you first start out. My idea was to lean on the car while getting my feet properly in the straps.
With my heart pounding I let go of the car and due to the lack of momentum completely keeled over.
I immediately started crying. Not so much from pain, but from being so nervous. On the drive out there that I had completely wound myself up. Evan got out of the car and asked if I was OK. I got up, walked into the centre of the road and started balling like a baby.
He then (annoyingly) got on the bike and showed me that I have to put one foot in the pedal strap, push-off with the other and put that foot into strap while moving. He did this perfectly and to boot, was wearing loafers…the scene was hilarious. A 24-year old woman crying in the middle of the road, and her loafer-wearing boyfriend showing her how to ride a bike.
So I got back on. I got my feet in the straps and pedaled up and down the road. I took control of my emotions, my fear, and told myself I could.
Today I went out for my first long ride. I did 22 km. It was awesome. I kicked ass. I was yelling and smiling the whole ride. I looked and sounded totally insane. But I felt great. Not only was I exercising, but I had conquered my fear of the bike.
Sometimes things are scary. And sometimes, if not all the time we make them more scary by ruminating on the idea of fear. I challenge you to try a physical activity that intimidates you. Not today, perhaps not tomorrow, but sometime soon.
Show yourself what you’re capable of.
P.S. Stay tuned for more posts on exercise and mental health next week!
Trackbacks & Pingbacks
- Wednesday’s Workout Tip: Find Freedom in Activity « liveitactive pingbacked on 5 years, 11 months ago