The past few weeks have been all about trying something new, getting out of my comfort zone and, yes, facing my fears. Ok ok ok, I haven’t really left my house to do any of this, but still, go with me here.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you already know I’m more than just a raving fan for Peloton. It’s possible I might win for biggest raving fan (ask my friends and family, they’re seriously sick of hearing about it). I’ve written about my love for this brand and company a few times. Although learning to run has been a part of my Peloton journey, I’ve also learned to ride a bike.
You know that old phrase, “it’s like riding a bike?”
Yeah, that’s never been a good example for me. When I was 9 years old I fell off my bike in our neighborhood. I ripped up my arm and had no intention of ever getting back on that thing again, despite the fact that it had been my main mode of transportation to visit friends up until that point. So when people say that you never forget how to ride a bike, I 100% disagree. I’ve tried it. I actually cannot do it very well at all, and it took me until my 40s to even try again. By that point I was simply afraid that if I fell I’d break a hip. So, no thanks, I’ll stick to walking.
When we purchased the Peloton equipment last August, I stuck to the tread and did the strength, stretching and meditation classes as well as walking/running. By January, I was starting to feel left out. Everyone else in the household could ride that thing, so one day I got brave, put on two pairs of socks and my daughter’s cycling shoes and I gave it a try. What was the worst that could happen, right? It was the hardest workout I’ve ever done (and I’m talking about the 5-minute how-to video). I’ve been working at building my cycling strength these past nine months. I normally stick to fun rides with 80s music so I can sing a long and forget how hard it is.
But those milestones will get me every time.
Over the weekend, I checked my profile and could see that I was about to hit my 200th ride – a milestone worthy of taking a live class with my favorite teacher, Olivia Amato. But the ride was to be a HIIT and Hills ride. If you aren’t familiar, look it up. I was truly scared I wasn’t going to be able to do it. But my 14-year-old son, the one who actually listens to my daily diatribe about my workouts said “Mom, face your fear. You are ready for this and you’ll see… it’s not that hard.” So I did it. And I survived it. And my 14-year-old was proud (though he did point out my total output is about 50% of his. Whatever.).
But this hasn’t been the only time in the past week I’ve had to go through this whole “face your fear” thing.
A couple weeks ago I was connected through LinkedIn to someone who needed services related to social media engagement, but a little different than my usual offerings. He needed services that were just outside of our normal scope. My first thought was “I can’t do it. I don’t know how to do that.” But then I pondered for a bit.
Face your fears, Shane.
I most certainly do know how to do what he needs. I’ve been given the opportunity in different ways through the years, but never explicitly. Last week I pitched a proposal and, frankly, nailed it. We began working together and I’ve been able to connect with a colleague just as a second set of eyes, to be sure I’m on the right track with this. When she and I got off our meeting yesterday, she said, “maybe you DO know how to be an expert at this.”
You know I’ve always shied away from the word “expert” or “guru.” I have a real disdain for both words, actually – specifically when I’m being referred to one (I do know a few people I consider to be experts in their area and these are the people I learn from). I consider myself a practitioner, by no means an expert. But what I’ve learned through this process is that I really do know how to do what we do – and I don’t just believe we’re the best at it, I know so.
Facing your fears isn’t easy but it’s necessary. It brings you to a new level in life. It’s scary but I’m going to keep finding ways to get out of my comfort zone and prove I can do hard things – even if only to myself.
Maybe someday I’ll even go zip lining.