Just like riding a bike...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It's a beautiful, cool night in my town. The perfect night for a bike ride, but it almost didn't happen.
I had a plan to go for a ride with a new friend. She's had a *brand, spankin' new* bicycle in her basement for... oh, 2-3 years and she's never used it. She hasn't rode a bike since high school (10+ years). I'm not sure how we got on this topic last week, but I knew then that I was the girl who was going to help her get back on the "horse".
Like all "good" fears, it wasn't rational and she didn't really have a reason to be scared. It wasn't about falling or injuring herself. Maybe a bit apprehensive about riding with traffic (but who isn't?) but that was not where her fear was coming from. It was the monster on her back. I call it "the voice". I don't know where it comes from, and I don't know why it shows up in one situation, but not another, but it was telling her "this is scary... it's probably best just to stick to walking and yoga."
I hate that voice. Especially when it doesn't make sense. It just freezes up rational thought processes in a state of constant "NO"-ness. Nonsense, I say.
She sent me a text saying, and I quote: "Bahhhhhh, I don't know if I can do it. How about a solid grounded walk?"
That is how THE VOICE speaks... in the language of "I don't know" and "I'm not so sure". But as much as she "didn't know", I knew. I knew that if I can ride a bike then she can ride a bike.
So, I responded to her text: I'm getting on my bike right now and coming to your house. Thinking that she might reject my "straight talk" and feel too pressured, I followed up with a "you can do this, and I'll be right there with you!"
As I biked towards her house, I was feeling pumped, for her and for me.
Pumped for her because I knew that she was about to prove something to herself and something to the VOICE. I was excited for me because I was feeling lucky to be a part of it all... and proud to pass on my new confidence to others.
There was a time, not too long ago, when I didn't push my limits. But I started to push myself bit by bit... and with that grew confidence and a new awareness in how I talk to myself. "The voice" still happens -- even often. But I can hear it for what it is -- fear. I can listen to it and let it be. I don't have to believe "the voice" or give it power, but by hearing that fear deep inside and getting more comfortable with it (since it's probably not going anywhere) I empower myself. I get closer to that which makes me feel strong. I get closer to the root of who I am and who I want to be.
I was really happy to be by my friend's side tonight -- cruising down the streets at a leisurely Wednesday-evening pace. She had big smiles and laughs as she coasted down hills and experience new thrills that had been long forgotten. She said that she felt like she was 6 again. What a great feeling that is! To experience things as if it's the first time EVER -- the newness and the awe. I think that we all need to feel like we're 6 years old more often than we do! I think it would make being 30 or 50 or 80 that much more enjoyable.