Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some Invigorating Miles

You know how I always say, “Do something everyday that scares you”?

This morning I was terrified. I hardly slept last night and woke up at 4:50 a.m., several minutes before my alarm even went off. I was anxious.

Taking risks is essential to living fully and experiencing your best life. I know this because I live outside of my comfort zone A LOT and I can honestly say that my life is never boring, it is always challenging and it is the best life I could ever have.

That said, sometimes I HATE doing new things, meeting new people. It is just plain agonizing. I fret about what people will think, will I fail, what if I shit myself, etc. Right when I am getting ready to take a big risk (think skydiving or running with Dean Karnazes last summer) I sit in my kitchen sipping coffee and thinking, “Seriously. You don’t have to do this. It is so safe and quiet here. You could just lay on the couch, read the paper and listen to the wind in the trees.”

And, I could. But that is not me and never will be. I am at my best when I am living on my own personal edge.

The edge is different for everyone. For some it might be bungee jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge (if they let you do that) or completing an Ironman. For others, it is running their first 5K or going to a mom’s group for the first time with a new baby. The event does not have to be hugely major. Not at all. It just has to be something that will result in you feeling ALIVE.

On the run with Dean last August, we were at about mile 18 when he told me he would be blogging about our day together. I wet my pants.  He wanted one word from me that I felt summed up the run. It immediately popped into my head – “Invigorating.” If you don’t believe me, you can read his post HERE.

Here’s the thing: You try new things, you are scared and then the pay off is that you are invigorated. I promise.

So, why was I terrified this morning? I thought you’d never ask. I joined a women’s cycling group and today was day number one for me. I have been cycling on and off for many years, but have never ridden with a group. Not once. My friend, Hillari, has ridden with this group for years and they have a reputation for being strong, tough and fast. Some days I can be strong, tough and fast, but not everyday, and I never know how I stack up next to anyone else. I just do my thing.

I showed up at 6am. About 10-12 women were there. They all welcomed me warmly, saying that they read the blog. That immediately put me at ease. I felt they knew me before they had even met me. Farts and all.

I had one little faux pas at the start because I was nervous and distracted. I went to put on my helmet, and it felt way too tight. Then I realized I still had my visor on.  Here is a re-enactment.


This could be a new trend! I call it vise-helm.

We cruised out on some roads northwest of Longmont  at a good clip. We all shot the shit and the miles flew by. Right before the turn around we had a major climb (Rabbit Mountain for you locals) and it hurt me a bit. But, I did it and I was not last.

All in all – 24 invigorating miles. I loved these women. They were strong, tough and fast but they were also warm, friendly, and inviting. I will be back. It was not that scary after all. I’m a believer in the fact that when we run, ride, etc. with people who are faster than we are, we are immensely challenged and we become faster too. I’m also a believer that our anticipation of things is almost always worse than the real thing.


This is how I look when I am invigorated – shiny!


Take any risks today?

Do you run, ride, swim with a group?


PS: Don’t forget my Zensah Running Bra Giveaway!


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  2. Oh Hellz Yeah!!!!!

    You freaking rock and are going to own the Boulder a matter of fact they will name it the SUAR 70.3 when you are done with it.

    Going out of your comfort zone is the only way to live. Who has any fun staying inside a box?

    One week from today my friend and we will be farting together.

  3. J- yes, farts galore at the summit! Oh shit are you going to yoga? I just don't know if I can keep a straight face.

  4. Not only am I going to yoga but I will be sporting some short shorts to get a true overall effect.

    BTW - in my OWS today I was swimming and I farted and my wetsuit was just so bubbly and stayed with me for about 100m

  5. I would love to join a bike group but I need a bike that will be able to keep up! Can you comment on your new bike and tell us if you made a good choice? I am thinking of buying the same one (because of you!) and would love to know if its good :)

    PS- You ROCK!!

  6. Cynthia - I love my bike. It is a Trek Lexa. Very smooth, quiet, light. Priced well for someone like me who is not a competitive racer, but needs something quality to train on. If i can, I'll do another post on it.

  7. Love this!!!

    Yes. I tried my first [albeit fake] brick.

    You my friend rock. Rock your real brick this week & please SLEEP!

  8. I just joined a group of women "runners" for a 72 mile team relay...I was nervous I "wasn't" one of them (a runner)... BUT it was an awesome race, they were so warm and welcoming, and I finished my 10.6 without walking...and by the end of the weekend, I might just call myself a "runner girl" now. Races are so bonding, farting, pooping, blisters etc, etc, etc... I am invigorated!

  9. Great for you! Nice blog btw I will be back to read more :)

  10. In three years or so I've gone for a run with one other person once. Started runs with a group after a spin session but they all leave me behind. Biked a dozen times or so with friends. Swum with other people a few times, that's not counting when I've happened to meet people I know at the pool.

    It's not that I'm antisocial or that I fart a lot. I hate all the shilly shallying around when other people are involved. Someone is always late. Someone always has equipment problems. The waiting around simply isn't with it to me.

    Besides, I generally prefer to do my workouts alone. I can start when I like. I can go as hard or not as I please, and can take a break if I need to. I don't have to worry about trying to keep up my end of the conversation.

  11. today I took a plunger to the toilet in the guys washroom at work ... two large redwoods floating in an amber soup, with willow wisps of tissue ...

    I venture to say the splash-up scared the SHIT out of me!

  12. Ahhh, yes...i am basically genetically pre-disposed to live an incredibly SAFE life, so it is HARD for me to step out of my comfort zone. Incredibly hard. But, that's one of the things that I love so much that running has given me--a real sense of self-confidence. I've done things that I never would've thought myself capable of doing, and that feeling starts to spill over into the rest of your life. It does make you want to get out there and really LIVE life. Thanks for sharing that these things actually do scare you sometimes though ( :

  13. As a Crossfitter every work out of the day (WOD) is scary! Lifting weights with mostly guys is out of a comfort zone. But it's great and I love it. Split jerks today-a least favorite but was okay! Highly recommend it!

  14. LOL@ andrew… that shit is a daily occurance at my house…low-flow toilets :(

    Good for you, Beth! I love how you get out of the comfort zone and go for it :) Today I kicked my butt out the door while the kids were eating dinner and did a timed mile. I was fretting about it off and on all day. It went better than expected and was a 'return-to-running' PR. Yay for doing stuff that scares you!!!

  15. Awesome points! I hate new things as well! I'm getting a little braver but not quite there yet!

  16. OOOH I have a Lexa toooo! I absolutely LOVE it!

    I'm glad I read your post. Well, I'm always glad to read your posts, but today's really hit home with me. I'm a cyclist and wanna-be runner who has yet to run ANYwhere. I used to run when I was younger and got hurt, so I think I'm afraid to get hurt again now I'm older. I don't recover as fast as I used to!

    I need to just DO it, though. You might be scared of some of the things you do (or nervous enough to fart, anyway), but you still DO them. Awesome!

    Thanks for being so inspiring...and so damn funny I snort milk out my nose almost every morning as I read your posts!

  17. love this post and your blog :) Wow, your legs are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G and yes, don't be afraid, I'm married with kids!!! Ha!

    I love your idea of taking risks true and inspiring!

    stepping outside of your comfort zone is always scary, but SOOO worth it!

    Newest follower and so happy that I found your truly motivational blog!!!

  18. No shit, TODAY I ran with the Charlotte Runners Club for the first time and had a blast. I can't believe it took me so long to do this.

  19. Woohoo! I think it's awesome that you joined a women's riding group! I'm glad it went well for you! Yay!

  20. You ask about recent risks taken: In September my husband and I moved our family (two primary school aged girls) from our lovely New England home to Australia. I am still waiting to feel "invigorated" over this decision, however, I have experienced several new and exciting things over the course of these 10 months including completing my first half marathon and feeding a kangaroo! I keep up on your blog as it is both entertaining and inspiring.

  21. This post absolutely spoke to me. I run, ride, and swim (when I can make myself) with a group. They're all stronger than I am, so every run/ride/swim is an exercise in pushing myself, if not straight up risk.

    The biggest thing that scares me, though, is mountain biking, which I also love (when I'm not pee my pants scared and, ok, even then), though I'm still also working up courage to take those corners faster on my road bike. Pretty much everything scares me, but there's little excitement about sitting at home (although I've recently started watching Lost--sooo behind the times--and that's pretty exciting :D).

  22. Love it!

    My favorite quote lately is "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    I've had alot of those moments lately. Work it! Own it!

  23. Good for you! I used to hate trying new things and then I started staring down 40 (I'm 39 and 1 month old) and I realized that there are things that I'm just going to do - running a 5K was at the top of my list. Check! I'm also considering becoming a platinum blonde, but that's a completely different subject...

  24. Nope, no ride, no run, no swim with group.. no coach. I live miles away from any real group. :( Great job!

  25. I'm too scared to join a club. I want to, but am too scared. Maybe some day.

  26. I am sooooo jealous - I would love to be able to find a group of women to bike with.

    I need to find a group of like minded women to bike with.

  27. Beth, I noticed that the number of people who go from your blog to mine dropped from about 50 a day to zero. I see you removed me from your blogroll. I'm used to offending people, but just what was the last straw???

  28. AWESOME!!!! Way to push your comfort zone... I have been taking some risks on my bike, except of course it needs to be fixed. And now I kind of want a new one.... uh oh

  29. i get totally freaked out nervous having to try something new exercise-wise. need to take a lesson from you!

  30. Congratulations! This gave me some extra confidence for my first group ride on Sunday.

  31. Did you happen to find my lungs at Rabbit Mountain as I left them there earlier in the week. We should grab a coffee and I'll bring my wetsuit for you to use / take over since I've given up on swimming...for now at least...

  32. It was so great to have you ride with us...loved having you. Looking forward to getting to know you better! It's tricky with a blog b/c everyone knows you but you don't know them. I'll be seeing you in a couple weeks...headed for vacation!

  33. way to go for yourself and facing something that scared you! and u ended up rocking the ride and finding some great new training partners!

    i had to say THANK YOU for this post because it really hit close to home. there's been something that has scared me for a long time and today i finally bit the bullet and faced my own fear. i wrote about it on my blog today and made sure to say that u were the one to give me the swift kick in the pants i needed. :)

    thanks for the inspiration!

  34. I love reading about all these groups you join, and I totally agree about the nerves! I keep thinking I should join a running group or a master swim class cause I could definitely use the tips... but I am so scared to be the "weak link"! Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. I just did a boot camp class last week for the first time and I was convinced I would never keep up with the other gals. I did! And it felt great. Any news on the clothing gear?? I don't think it will be ready in time for my first 1/2 marathon next weekend, but I'm still interested!

  36. Kudos to you for doing this. Riding in a group can be fun and even better if it is challenging. When I was training for a local cycling event I rode on weekends with a local shop - mostly men who were hard core. They dropped me half way through but I went back every weekend to hang on a little bit longer each time. The only way you get better is to ride/run with someone better than you to push you beyond your limits.