Conquering Fears

I was going to title this post “Be Afraid of the Bike” but…

So here’s the thing: I’ve never been very athletic, and I’m pretty uncoordinated. Which means, when you put me on a bike, with my feet ATTACHED…. I get very nervous. I mean… I’m going to fall! And I have a thing about falling, goes back to my childhood. When I took figure skating lessons, I could never execute a jump, because I was too afraid of falling. I never learned to ski, because I might fall and break a leg – and I grew up 7 miles from a terrific ski resort!

So the fact is, I avoid biking outside. Any excuse to either bike inside, or blow off a workout completely? I’m there. Aside from falling, there are cars, dogs, wind, bugs, rough roads… you get the idea. So for my last bike workout, I committed to going out and doing it. I got off to a later start than I planned, but I refused to give up, and out I went. And I purposely went a little slower, spending time focusing on trouble spots – shifting, braking, stopping, starting, clipping in and out of my pedals, etc. I also spent some time just thinking about how I feel about biking.

Truth is, biking is a little bit fun, but right now, I don’t love it. In fact, I don’t really even like it. It’s just a necessary evil I must overcome in order to do the fun parts of triathlon – swimming and running. And you know what? That’s OK. When I started running, I hated it! It took me six months – almost the whole training period for my first half marathon – to stop hating running. The only reason I stuck with it was because I’d signed up to run for charity, and I took that very seriously. After doing it, I realized this running business didn’t suck as much as I thought it did, and I kept going. Another year later, and I loved it to the point that I can’t imagine living without running now. 🙂

So I’m reminding myself that the more time I spend on my bike, the less scary it will be. Eventually, I’ll conquer most of my fears, and hopefully I’ll even start to like the bike. Considering how long you have to be on the bike for an Ironman, or even a 70.3 (even!), I’d really like to learn to like this.

This whole theory can of course be put into practice in all aspects of life – I have a long bucket list of things I want to do/accomplish, many are years away, but some are things I could be doing right now, if I could stop being afraid of failing! Even signing up for my first triathlon – my excuse is I still don’t have a summer schedule, which is true – but really? I’m scared! But of what? Failing? If I go out and start, I’ve succeeded. If I finish, it’s a triumph! And besides – failing in whose eyes? The only people who matter will be proud of me just for making the attempt, including me. 🙂

So as I was sorting all this stuff out in my head, I was making mental commitments – I’m going to face my fears, and actually TRY some of these things. First few things?

1) Register for a triathlon!
2) Pick up info on getting my motorcycle license
3) Stop procrastinating on starting my side business and second blog!

There are dozens of other things I’ve been putting off out of fear (my excuse is I never have enough time… it’s just an excuse), but these are the ones that are either bugging me the most, or mean the most to me. Wish me luck, and I’ll post updates as I tackle my fears one by one.

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