“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
~ Helen Keller
When was the last time your heart fluttered out of fear and excitement at the same time? For me it was July long weekend when I participated in my first ever mountain bike race; a three day lung and leg-buster called Furious 3 in Fernie B.C. that felt plenty daring to me.
Sure I’m fit, and yes I can navigate most mountain bike trails with relative skill when we’re toodling about on our own, but three days racing with 300 other crazy mountain people? What had I signed on for?
Just like anything in life, there are things that happen during play that can help us be stronger at work. I thought I would share a couple of the insights I had on my three day adventure in the hills!
1) Every uphill slog has a pay-off. Holy cow they build their trails high in Fernie! I know it’s called mountain biking for a reason, but I felt like most of those uphill climbs would never end and that someone had attached weights to my bike as a joke. Lungs gasping for air, legs burning from the start; why did I think this would be fun? But it was fun and there was a pay-off.
When the going gets tough on a project or plan, persevere. If you’re working hard and it’s feeling like an uphill grind have faith that when you get over the hump you’ll be rewarded with amazing views and the chance to coast on the downhill. That’s what I kept in mind when I didn’t think my legs could make another uphill peddle stroke. Hey, if it was easy more people would be doing it. Keep climbing, cuz MAN those downhills are fun!
2) Don’t go it alone even if you have to go it alone. I never would have signed on for this adventure if my beloved Ewan hadn’t convinced me it would be fun. I needed his reassurance and support to overcome my butterflies leading up to the race (surly veteran that he is to MTB racing) and I appreciated his hugs and cheers when I finished each day. Not only that but we had a lot of fun doing this event together.
Let me be clear though, we rode solo. He’s faster and stronger on his bike and while we supported each other before and after, we rode our own races each day. It’s probably a smart way to keep the relationship happy too.
If you’ve got something big on your plate, don’t be afraid to get the help and support you need to get the job done properly. Get advise from someone who has been there before, ask for help from your boss or a co-worker. But also have faith in your own ability to knock it further out of the park than you might think you can. Knuckle under and work through the tough spots. You’re stronger than you think.
3) Scars heal but the satisfaction lives on. You should see the bruises and cuts on my legs. No really. Not only am I a bit of a klutz when I push the envelope on my bike, but I bruise easily. But at the end of three days of racing I knew that I had given my all. I finished 6th in the Women’s over 40 category; not so impressive when you learn there were only 14 women in that category, but hey I’m a happy gal. I accomplished something I had never done or thought I would do and the experience was fun and exciting beyond my expectations.
So my legs are beat up. You don’t experience big adventures without taking a few hits. It’s a good thing Ewan digs ‘burly girls’.
Hard work can sometimes mean long hours without obvious pay-off. Self-doubt may creep in when results aren’t showing as quickly as you’d like. Your self-esteem and ego may get a bit bruised. That’s what happens when you choose to push beyond your comfort zone and do that thing you didn’t think you could. Those hours in the trenches are part of your character building. The tough days are so you appreciate the great days … and they will be plentiful. The scars will heal but they’ll always be there to remind you that you stepped out and took a risk.
Climb the hills, ask for help and strengthen your character. And if you need a bit more motivation remind yourself that the views are always sweetest from the top!
Michelle Cederberg, CSP MKin, BA Psyc, CEP
Helping people with full schedules and a long list of responsibilities maximize their personal energy.
Speaker, Consultant, Co-Active Coach, Author
I’m taking new coaching clients… but I only have a few choice spots available. I will help you create an adventure filled, abundant life…if you dare. Email me for details!