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!