On Sunday, I joined a great group of women for a 14-mile bike ride.
They’ve ridden together for years. My best friend came and she’s done three of those bike and barge trips overseas where you bike 20-30 miles a day. I ride my bike but don’t consider myself a “cyclist.”
We started off and within three minutes I was bringing up the rear. They’d wait for for me and I’d catch up, out of breath, legs wobbly like a new born fawn. We’d start off again and within minutes, they’d leave me in the dust.
Many thoughts churned through my head.
I’m so out of shape. (Actually, I am not.)
I’m holding them up. (They didn’t care.)
I should be faster. (“Should” is always a red flag.)
It reminded me of being in yoga class and wanting to do more than I am able to on any given day. Trying to prove something to myself, my teacher, other yogis in the room. But I know that is coming from me ego and definitely not in my best interests.
Luckily, I quickly realized the dynamic for what it was while on the bike ride and let it go. I stopped as often as I needed to, stretched, enjoyed the scenery, the sunshine, the sky and caught up when I could.
About three quarters of the way through a friend suggested that maybe I needed a different bike. I thought she was just being nice, trying to provide an excuse as to why I was lagging so far behind. But then my BFF traded me her state-of-art bike with the one I got fifteen years ago.
Reader, I soared through the last leg of that ride. I was out in front, exerting half the effort and going twice as far. Going up hills was a breeze.
I had no idea that the right bike could make such a huge difference.
It made me wonder where else in my life do I make things way harder than they need to be because I don’t have the proper tools or equipment—or even the right mindset. Where else am I holding myself back?
It also made me see how quick I am to blame myself, to belittle myself. How often do I do that?
I’ll have a new bike before our next biking adventure, one that works with me and not against me. And I cannot wait to see what new lessons are revealed.