Ass-Hat Behavior: Finding Excuses

It’s been really beautiful outside lately. I love the sunshine and I even love the rainy weather we get here in South Carolina. I don’t think you’ll ever really hear me complain about the weather. I moved here about two and a half years ago, and I’ve felt like I’ve been enjoying one great-big summer, with a touch of gentle fall nearer to Christmas time. I’m in the perfect environment for doing all kinds of activities outside that I love most like gardening (wearing a metric ton of sunscreen and a my wide-brimmed hat of course!), walking, bike and motorbike rides along with outdoor runs and HITT in a variety of locations.

Today I finally got my bicycle down to a nearby bike shop to get some air in the tyres. It’s been months and months since I’ve ridden it. I’ve found all kinds of excuses and convinced myself I couldn’t ride it, couldn’t put air in the tyres, couldn’t find a safe place to ride, couldn’t figure out my new neighborhood… blah blah and blah.

One of the biggest excuses I’ve been using was that since my bike has fancy Presta valves, and none of the gas stations or tyre shops near me had the right tools, I’d just keep putting it off. (Here’s a great link that explains the differences between Presta vs Schrader).

I bought my full-suspension Kona Hei Hei when I lived in Medicine Hat, AB. I was lucky enough to briefly work with a stellar bunch of guys and two canines in a shop called Cyclepath. Yup. Shameless plug right here. I fell in love with this bike and aside from my Buell, it’s my baby. Riding my bike gives me freedom, helps me think, let off steam and enjoy the scenery. It’s my favorite low-cost, no impact form of exercise. It was in storage for a while when I recently moved, then it lived in my living room, sadly leaning up against the couch just begging to be ridden.

There are barely any good, never mind, outstanding bike paths or trails around here. The biggest concern for bicyclists is road/highway safety as well as just plain old personal safety. For a gal like me who used to put on 10 kms a day at the minimum and loved going for gentler off-road or trail rides, it’s definitely been a challenge to say the least. Hence, another excuse not to ride was born.

So why am I telling you all of this?

Well, I kept putting off something that was so important to me, that I value and enjoy so much, that gives me joy and fills my sails, because I focused so much on all the reasons why I couldn’t or wouldn’t get around to taking action.

It was one of those days today, where I woke up feeling like giving up on things I’ve been fighting for or struggling to achieve. I felt worn out and empty. It seemed like I’d hit nothing but walls and problems and all I could do was go back to bed and have a restorative nap.

All it took was seeing that Kona this morning, in a totally different light. Literally. You see, I’d moved it from the darkness of the living room, into the sunlight of my bedroom. (ahhhh….. picture bright, heavenly-type lights at this point).

Right then, my mindset changed completely. I instantly starting remembering and feeling all the joy I used to get from riding my bike. Not even 10 minutes later, I had changed into a good pair of walking shoes, slathered on the sunscreen, donned my favorite baseball cap and I took to the side of the highway with my Kona by my side. I finally took action and decided that I COULD.

It only took me 25 mins to walk to the local bike shop. I discovered how there actually is enough space on the one side of the highway for a safe ride, and eventually it joins up to sidewalks. I finally got to see how friendly my new neighborhoods are, how people wave and say hello and that there is so much to see on the way into town.

On the way there, I had the chance to feel how light and quiet my bike felt. With every step, I kept thinking about how nice it was going to feel to discover the trail via 29″ wheels and the power of my own muscles. I realized that all this time, I’d found every reason why I couldn’t get myself to the bike shop to get those damn tyres inflated instead of searching for solutions to such a simple problem. Once I got to the bike shop, it took all of 5 minutes for the tech to bring my wheels back to 65psi, and out the door I went.

I felt like a little kid again! It was instant-awesomeness! I laughed out loud at one point because the term “ass-hat” came to mind. I’d been a total ass-hat about actually DOING something to get my, well… to get my ass back in the saddle. The ride home only took 10 glorious minutes! I’m so excited to know now, that I can do it!

So whatever it is that you’ve been an expert at not doing because you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t, change your perspective, change the lighting, just change something and start convincing yourself that you can.

Thanks for reading.

Nat

 

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