Respecting Fear

While I like to supplement my road biking with indoor cycling, my husband likes to take his mountain bike on unpaved paths through the park. I blame credit his childhood love of motocross which he redirected to BMX when our kids were younger. He loves the rough terrain, jumping over logs and crossing creeks. Since I am not running these days, last weekend I agreed to join him on an “easy” path.

Respect Fear
When we got to the park, I rode around the parking lot to test out the mountain bike he had set up for me. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was scared. The bike was unfamiliar, not too big, but slightly bigger than my road bike. The straight handle bars had my arms at a different angle than usual. The hand brakes were simple enough, but I had no idea how to use the twist shifter to change gears. After a few laps, I was ready to brave the trail, but first I had to tell my husband that I was afraid, and that he had to respect my fear. 

Mountain Bike

Putting on a brave face.

We started out slowly. He led the way so he could pick out the smoothest parts of the trail and show me the way through the rougher parts. Just as I was gaining confidence, we approached the first hill. I panicked because I really hadn’t figured out how to change gears, and knew I needed to downshift. I gave the hill my all, but it won. Right at the crest, I lost momentum and fell over, slowly enough to unclip my left foot, but not my right. I wasn’t hurt, and wasn’t even that embarrassed to have several cyclists and walkers witness my fall. I got back on my bike, my husband showed me how to shift gears, and we kept going. 

After a few miles on the gravel trail we arrived at Lake Accotink Park, where we picked up a mostly-paved section of the Cross County Trail. I enjoyed the scenery, practiced shifting gears, and got a bit more comfortable with my bike. Still, I was cautious. While my husband cruised across this creek crossing, I dismounted and used the stepping stones.

Cross County Trail Creek

We were about 45 minutes into our ride when I realized that our route was not a big loop. The paved trail wasn’t going to let us out near the parking lot. I was going to have to turn around and make it back the way we’d come. Back up the hills I had just cautiously coasted down. Back through the sand at Lake Accotink. Back over those gravelly hills.

Respecting Fear

As I rode, I thought about my fear, and the importance of respecting fear. My husband was good. He didn’t minimize my fears, or tell me I was silly to be afraid. He was patient with my slow pace. He tried to be helpful and encouraging without being overbearing. Would I do the same for a friend? 

When I love an activity that I want friends to enjoy, I may prod them to join me without respecting their hesitation. What is there to fear about running (except maybe this)? Why wouldn’t you want to join me at an indoor cycling class? What could hold me you back from walking into a CrossFit box? If I let my passion override my compassion, I may scare my friends away instead of helping them get comfortable enough to join me. 
Facing Down Fears

I wasn’t going to let my fear stop me from riding my bike, but I had to acknowledge my fear, go slowly, and gradually gain confidence. Respecting fear doesn’t mean giving in to it. It means facing it down on your own terms.

How do you face down fear?

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Hosting The August Ultimate Coffee Date Link Up

Happy August! Thanks for starting the month with the Ultimate Coffee Date Link Up! Make sure you thank my co-hosts Deborah and Lynda, and visit other blogs in the link up. For more tips on how to get the most out of a blog link up like this one, you should check out this post.

The Ultimate Coffee Date Link Up

(Use the code above to grab the Ultimate Coffee Date badge for your blog.) Continue reading

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Running Rules I Always Break

In most areas of my life I’m a rule follower. I get to the airport two hours early, even if it usually means spending 90 minutes at the gate. I don’t try to sneak 11 items into the 10-items-or-less express line. Even in my work as an attorney, most of my counseling involves helping clients use the rules to their advantage rather than get away with breaking them. But when it comes to running, there are at least five running rules I always break.

Running Rules I Always Break
1. I run alone. I love running with my Moms Run This Town group, but most of the time I run alone. I run alone on my dark-o’clock weekday runs. I run alone when I travel. I usually feel safe when I’m running alone–although it is the one thing about running that scares me–and there are some places where I won’t run alone.  But mostly, I feel comfortable running on my own. I love the time to clear my head, notice the world around me, and be alone with my thoughts.  Continue reading

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Banana Twinkies Bread Pudding

We interrupt this healthy living blog to bring you Banana Twinkies Bread Pudding from The Twinkies Cookbook. Yes, this is a real thing, and yes, I bought a box of Twinkies® and made this recipe!

The Twinkies Cookbook
I joined Blogging for Books and requested The Twinkies Cookbook as my first book to review because my husband loves Twinkies® (I always was more of a Ho Hos® girl myself) and it looked fun. Honestly, if we hadn’t just celebrated Father’s Day it would have made the perfect gift. Continue reading

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Activity Tracker Comparisons — Garmin Vivosmart vs Jawbone UP

After I lost my Garmin Vivosmart a few weeks ago, I dug out my old Jawbone UP and started using that to remind me to MOVE during the work day. When my husband found my Vivosmart (yay!) I decided to keep wearing both devices and do some activity tracker comparisons. 

Activity Tracker Comparisons

Yes, I walked around like this for two weeks.

To be fair to Jawone, I have to explain that I have the original UP, not the UP24 that synchs via Bluetooth, not the UP3 that includes a wrist-based heart rate monitor, and not the UP4 that will let you pay for certain purchases with a linked American Express card. That said, the main reason I decided to replace my UP still holds true for all of the new models–the lack of any on-device display. Continue reading

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