I know this is a running blog, but I believe this post applies to running and other areas of life as well.
Sunday I pulled my bike off the trainer and went to ride with my husband. It had been 3 weeks since I’d taken it outside. I have been on the road twice since I got the new pedals and shoes, and haven’t been back out since my first fall (which was the same ride I got chased by a German Shepherd).
So on Sunday when my husband and I went to ride, I felt a little off. I couldn’t clip in easily when we started. Then we went a direction where I thought there would be little traffic. There wasn’t. Nothing clicked, and it was making me nervous.
Back home to switch bikes to ride with him. Back on the trainer went the road bike.
That evening I practiced. Clip in. Clip out. Clip in. Clip out. Boring. Boring. Boring.
Yesterday evening, I decided to take a short ride on the road. My 9 year old son asked if he could ride with me. We decided we would go to an empty parking lot down the road. He could ride freely, and I could practice starting and stopping. Clipping in and clipping out.
At the end of our driveway, when we were ready to take off, I had my second fall. He dropped his bike and ran over to me to make sure I was okay. He helped me stand up, brush the gravel off, and check my wounds. He looked at me and asked if I wanted to go back in. “No, I’m okay. Let’s go.” I tried again. I started to get nervous. Then again. Come on Eileen, I thought. Finally, I got my left foot clipped in and we headed out. We rode in the parking lot until I was more confident in my ability, and he was tired. Then we headed home.
I realized later that was a teachable moment. I could’ve reacted any number of ways when I fell. But I chose to stand up, dust myself off, and say “Let’s go.” I’m hoping my son will remember that I didn’t give up when learning something new. He watched me keep at it until I got it. That’s the lesson. Of course then he told me, “I think you should leave the clipping in to Daddy.” Just because he didn’t like to see me get hurt.
One of the reasons I was hesitant to get into triathlon was fear. Fear of falling, fear of not being able to figure it out. Fear of moving outside of my comfort zone.
Will I fall again? I’m sure of it. Will it hurt? Of course. But I’m going to keep at it.
Hopefully my shoes (and bike) will survive the learning curve.