In 2014, I pulled out my bicycle and started riding for the first time in 20 years. Why? My husband was an avid cyclist and we decided to book two bike trips on our upcoming trip to Prague, Vienna and Budapest. This would be a challenge for me.
The first few weeks out were really tough. I couldn’t go very far and my backside didn’t take kindly to sitting on that torturous seat. Day by day, it slowly improved until I was riding a full 20K each time out. The summer was beautiful this year and over the next four months of preparation I began to truly enjoy the feeling of flying down the road.
There were also unexpected benefits. I was writing my first book at the time – struggling with debilitating self-doubt. I learned at those tough moments to jump up, grab my bike and head off for an hour. By the time I was back at the computer, not only had the stress been washed out of my system, but the words I was seeking seemed to sort themselves out while I was riding. All I had to do was sit down and capture them on the computer.
There was a life lesson to be had as well, but it took a little longer to realize.
One struggle I had when riding was when I had to go between posts. The closer I came, the more I slowed. Panic would set in. Every time I would swerve crazily and almost hit them. When I mentioned it to my husband he offered the perfect advice. “Don’t focus on the posts. Focus on something ahead.” It sounded way too simple, but I was in for a surprise.
I still remember the next time I was riding and thought perhaps I would give it a try. There was a tree a few hundred feet past the posts, so I just looked at it intently. I sailed right between the those scary barriers at full speed without a care in the world. MIRACULOUS! It was only later I came to realize it also applied to life.
We often get so distracted by what we perceive as barriers to our goals that we spend all our energy embracing why we can’t possibly succeed. If this is where are you, just for one day give yourself permission to let go of the doubts and negativity around you. Look ahead without distraction at the wide open door of possibility just waiting for you to walk through.
I do my best to live one day at a time, step at a time, one moment at a time – being fully present and focused. But when it comes to my dreams and goals, I take the long view and don’t worry about what comes between this moment and reaching them. I ride towards them full speed without a care, my blood pumping and the wind in my face.
ABOUT THIS GUEST: Marilyn R. Wilson began her career as a writer in an unusual way, by answering a Craigslist Ad. It was while conducting her first interview the world shifted – she had found her passion. Since 2006, she has interviewed over 150 people from as far away as South Africa, worked as an editor, co-owned a magazine and published her first book. Over time, the wisdom shared in these interviews have had a profound effect. The biggest surprise? We are all exactly who we are meant to be. Those quirks everyone tries to get us to change are actually our unique talents! www.marilynrwilson.com