A Sidebar Story…
This week, thanks to my experiences with getting outside of my comfort zone during the weekend riding a fixed gear track bike with no brakes and surviving; I set my intention to become more accepting and curious with being outside of my ‘box’… to be accepting with being slightly uncomfortable from time to time. Because I believe in Living Intentionally and with self-awareness: I decided to see how I felt and to try things, even small things, which might be different than I am accustomed to. This is a big deal! Most of us humans are creatures of habit and routine by necessity as our brains need a break instead of being in constant semi-fight or flight mode.
However, pushing our self-imposed limits from time to time is important to maintain self-growth, healthy reflection, continuous learning, as well as self-discovery. Quite frankly: if we do not push ourselves to try and learn new things, what is the point in being alive? How will we know what we are capable of and how will we learn? With this intent that I left my house and cycled to yoga class prepared to also pick up groceries on the way back home… on a Monday – on my bike.
With an open mind, I stepped into the yoga room to find my customary spot was taken. Unfazed, but now perplexed where my new spot would be – a friend spotted me. He waved me over: “You had that look on your face”, he said, “You know – the look of: someone’s taken my spot!” Oops! I didn’t want to be too transparent! We laughed and with resolve I decided to shun my natural inclination to hug a wall … and set up in the middle of the room. At the front.
It was fine. I didn’t blow up, fall over, or melt. The class was lovely and all went well. I’m not a shy wall-flower by any means, I just don’t prefer to sit my 6’ tall person in the middle / front of the class like the Statue of Liberty! Heavens knows how many looks I get when my limbs invade someone else’s space. Regardless, I had a fantastic class and success being outside of my comfort zone!
Next: the Grocery Store… via bicycle.
I arrived to my accustomed bike parking spot at the store – only to find that spot occupied by a dilapidated sad looking piece of machinery. I would now need to find another parking place, but where? Well, I did set my intention to be outside of my box – so here goes! I pulled my heavy commuter bike forward and nosed it into the bike stands provided by the store. With some help from my helmet straps, I held it steady long enough to get the lock securely fastened so it wouldn’t fall over.
Now for the third challenge! I ride all the time, but shopping and carting all of it home can occasionally be… interesting. Especially when I get carried away – and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. You know what happens when you shop hungry! With firm self-discipline I entered and exited the store in record time for a Monday with only two bags of groceries. Both easily transportable via bike. Yes!! I managed to load both bags onto my oddly parked bike without incident, unlock it without it falling over, and I was on my way.
To celebrate my victory, I had to stop and take a picture of this fine February day in Houston, TX. I was so in love with the sunshine I barely noticed the blustery winds that faced me on the short ride home. No worries! I was living with acceptance of being slightly uncomfortable and just shifted down to soak up more sunshine and enjoy the sights and sounds of my commute.
Get outside of your box and challenge yourself occasionally. You might be surprised what you are capable of!
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