Life isn’t a full steam ahead, non-stop journey. There are zigs, zags and times when you don’t move at all. Even days when it seems like you are moving backwards. Every single one of those experiences and the feelings that accompany them are part of the process, so try your best to not lose perspective. Talk yourself down from being frustrated and don’t lose sight of your goals. And if you don’t have any goals, make some—that may be part of the problem.
I had to remind myself of that today. It sounds sooooo ridiculous, but I got all hot and bothered at myself today because I was having a set back in my bicycle practice.
Oh, yeah. As i briefly eluded to in another post, i learned how to ride a bike 4 months ago at 30 years old. I rented a bike 2 or 3 times, but finally bought a used bike off of Craigslist a couple of weeks ago and am trying to learn how to do more than fall down.
So anywho, I went out to practice today. I am still getting used to my bike…and biking in general, so I am totally not ready for the streets. The problem I am having is that I am also terrified of parks. Every place I go in San Francisco has a crap ton of people (also known as obstacles/moving targets…) and I get all wigged out. But last session I was doing much better, so I was excited to get daring.
And then I got all scared and wound up walking my bike all through Golden Gate Park.
I am a winner!
As I walked through the park….right next to the damn bike lane, I really started to beat myself up mentally. There are little 8 year old kids riding in traffic…why am I such a loser? Why can’t I do it? Why did I even buy a bike? It’s getting dark, I should just go home. Blah. Blah. Blah. Whine. Whine. Whine.
After about 15 minutes of feeling super sorry for myself, I started thinking about the above. About how when I learned to swim (at age 27…) how it took several sessions for me to not be scared to float on my back and how even after I learned to swim, it would still usually take me a couple of laps with a kick board before I became comfortable. About how it took me two times to pass the road test for my driver’s license because I pushed myself to take it before I was ready the first time and panicked because of it. About all of the runs I have done where I couldn’t even go a whole mile and those other days where I ran races and had fun….two of them being half marathons.
Learning is a process. It takes time. Sometimes you have a bad day. It happens. Then I thought about how the same is true for life in general. Then I found an unpopulated (except for a couple of really creepy people….I need to like, bring friends or something….anyone out there barely know how to ride a bike and want to be my biking buddy?) area and tooled around, working on gear shifting, turns, taking my hands off the handlebars to signal (still can’t do it without losing control. Darn..) and looking over my shoulder while keeping a straight line.
Then I felt better and headed home, riding in the bikeway (that I wouldn’t use on the way out) a lot of the time. Also rode back through the panhandle without taking out any joggers or women with strollers.
By the time I was locking up my bike, I thought about what a good practice session it had been and about how glad I was that I had talked myself down and kept going, even if I mentally needed to walk my bike half of the time.
Even a little time in the saddle is better than none at all.