I’ve heard all the sayings and pinned my favorite memes—The Body Achieves What The Mind Believes, She Believed She Could And She Did, Determination Makes The Impossible Possible–but it’s only recently that I’ve really appreciated the importance of getting my head in the game. It came to me after my first attempt at the hilly Conte’s group bike ride, as I was reliving my fall going up the N. Quincy Street hill. I realized that the moment I looked up and thought there was no way I would make it to the top was the moment my legs just stopped, causing me to fall over.
Getting My Head In The Game
As the weekend drew near, I was still on the fence. None of my friends were going, and while my husband had agreed to go with me, the possibility of being the only woman on the ride made it even more stressful. But then Ann shared this quote during my Friday morning CPY2 class.
I also pondered why I have no qualms trying yoga poses I can’t do but am so intimidated by hills I might not be able to climb.
Fear of injury? Not really, since that kind of fall is usually at low speed, although I do need to get better at unclipping so I can catch myself!
Embarrassment? Maybe, since it’s much more noticeable when you have to walk your bike up a hill than when you “transition” into child’s pose.
Still, I couldn’t think of any reason good enough to keep me away, so I spent the evening convincing myself that I can do hard things.
Keeping My Head In The Game
On my second attempt, I decided to approach the N. Quincy Street hill like I approach difficult yoga poses–with an open mind, seeing how far I can get, and willing to try different techniques. Since I had been in too hard a gear on my first attempt, this time I started in the easiest gear, but that didn’t work out either. As the hill got steep, my legs were just spinning around and I knew–or thought–I would never make it to the top without more momentum. Without too much chagrin, I hopped off my bike and walked it up the hill.
For better or worse, I think that decision made the rest of the ride a bit easier. My legs were spared that exertion and I knew I could make it up all the other hills–as hard as they were. I focused on keeping my mind in the game and not letting any other hills psych me out. I knew I had to quash any negative thoughts before they were fully formed, so I pulled out all the mantras, reminding myself “I’ve got this” on the longer climbs. I stopped worrying about keeping up with the rest of the group and convinced myself that I could keep up my steady pace “all day long“–or at least for the rest of the ride.
This past weekend I joined the Conte’s ride for the third time. I didn’t debate participating, but my GI tract reminded that I still was nervous. It was a smaller group, but since a woman from my Moms Run This Town group joined, I wasn’t the only female. As we approached THE HILL I played with my gears to try to find the one that would be “just right.” As it got steeper, I stood to climb but knew I was going to make. I cheered as I reached an easier part–still climbing–and approached the group waiting for me to catch up with a big grin on my race. The rest of the ride was still challenging, but I knew I could do it, and I did.
This ride demands a lot from my legs and requires the right mindset, but only by doing it will it be something that I can do.
Today’s Wednesday Word is mindset.
What do you do that requires the right mindset?