Have you tried something for the first time lately? If so, Congrats? If not, then why haven't you? Fear is often the culprit. It can stagnate you. Shoot, it can downright cripple you. This weekend, I ventured into the land of 'firsts'.
Met my mentor, Robin, for the first time
Completed my first 'pass' at riding Pinky (my tri bike) with clips
Experienced my first fall from (actually with) Pinky
Fell down and got my first "road rash"
Swam my 1st open water swim
I received my tri bike in February. I have been stalling big time on putting it on the pavement because I just couldn't imagine falling. Shoot, I experience joint pain, especially around my knees on a daily basis. So, why would I want to fall down on the ground? Call it an EXCUSE ~ or ~ F E A R ... whatever the reason, I stalled. The tri club had a group ride Saturday. After a few emails back and forth with my mentor, Robin (and Bethany), I decided to put my fears aside & just do it. I took both my tri and roadie (just in case I couldn't get those clips working :-)). When I arrived at the group ride, I didn't even know how to put air in my tires. Talk about a NEWBIE. I met my mentor for the first time Saturday as well. We made quick introductions. She aired my tires & then she set out leading a group of riders. Before she left, she introduced me to Kim, one of the green coaches. Kim boasted that I would not fall. So, I clipped in (actually quite confidently) to the pedals and rode for 30 minutes without 'fail'. I felt like I'd done it! A little confidence can do a bit of harm if you don't use it wisely (LOL!). Kim was more than patient and a great teacher. As my confidence grew, we switched from the parking lot to a paved trail. Each time Kim asked me to stop, I took my time in unclipping and kind of glided into it. This time, however, I had slowed to a snail and had pretty much stopped, except I was not leaning to the left nor right. I was clipped into both clips and unsuccessfully tried to unclip my left foot. My mind yelled, "TIMBER" as I felt myself falling to the concrete. Another first ==> "Road Rash". I picked the bike up. Put one clip in after the other & rode the bike for another 30 minutes. I am told I am 'official' now. Everyone shared their scar marks with me for proof that a triathlete will fall. A scar is entry into the club ;-). All in all, it wasn't bad. I spent months telling myself why I shouldn't ride with clips. I figure I would be so much further along if I had not taken up that time with fear filled notions. I don't like saying "I Can't" before I even try. I counted. I said "I can't" three times this afternoon as I stood in the murky lake water. Another First .. .. THE dreaded Open Water Swim. Funny thing is, I spent much more time stressin' over the bike (bc of the clip pedals) than I did the swim; however, as I swam my way to the first buoy & attempted to go back toward the shore, I realized this is where I need the most work. When my feet didn't touch the bottom ... even knowing how to swim ... there was a quick moment of panic. I felt a bit more comfortable with each trip to the buoy and back. The very last drill involved about a 200 yard swim out to the buoy and back. I said, "I can't. But, I didn't let "I can't" prevent me from doing something to work toward my goal. Instead, I swam parallel to the shore (50 yards). I only traveled about 160 yards. But, for my very first open water swim, I can honestly say #ProgressNotPerfection is what I sought today. Thanks to Ryan and April who provided both safety and encouragement to us 'beginners' (even though I can't classify some of the beginners in the same class as me .. lol .. maybe there should be a beginner's beginner..lol) I am glad that I was able to experience these FIRSTs...got them out of the way, so that I can keep making progress toward my ultimate goal. Lesson learned ~ it's always easy to stick with what we know. When we're asked to "clip" into something that causes angst and fear, we may feel the urge to push it to the back burner. Also, while we often feel safe closer to the "shore", the biggest reward is sometimes found away from the shore. Venture out! Try a FIRST today, this week, this month, or this year ... I'm glad that I was able to put Fear on the back burner yesterday & venture out away from the shore today. Ultimately, it all makes me stronger in some form or fashion. Hugs and Love, CC #pinkytri #Iwannabeatriathlete #ProgressNotPerfection