It was a busy Friday afternoon (Friday the 13th, to be exact) and I had decided to take a break and ride my bike on the beach to clear my head and do some brainstorming about my “new and improved back to the basics marketing to your existing customers and everyone else you know” campaign.
The ride started off so pleasantly! The sun was shining but it wasn’t too hot. The beach wasn’t too crowded and the tide was out so the ride north was easy. I hit the five mile mark and turned around to head south (and back to my home office). I was full of great ideas and couldn’t wait to get started! And that’s when it hit me.
The wind! Oh my! It was coming out of the south at what felt like Katrina force! I ride a beach cruiser with no gears so there’s no compensating for riding into the wind. It was a true grind. At times, I was so spent that all I could do was laugh at the folly of it all! The worse part was that the sky to the south was ominously dark and thunderstorms were immanent so I had to keep going. I tried leaning over the handlebars to cut some of the wind drag caused by my torso. I tried standing up and using all of my body weight to pedal faster. And still I crept along the beach at tortoise speeds. It was painful. It was comical. It was scary.
The sky grew darker and my legs and abs and lungs grew more and more fatigued. And yet I couldn’t stop. I knew that in order to get home before the storm I had to keep going. The energy required to do that was substantial…more than I had exerted in a workout in a long long time. From time to time I contemplated turning back. I could pedal much faster heading north and perhaps I could get to a place where I could exit the beach and find a covered sidewalk in front of a business or something on A1A where I could wait out the rain (or call my husband and beg him to rescue me). That would have been much easier.
See, here’s the thing…muscles have to be stressed in order to grow stronger. Resistance is what builds muscle. Perseverance is what builds endurance. It all works together to build strength.
In order to move from E (easy) to P (painful) on my bike, I had to keep going. No matter what. And it meant that I was heading directly into the path of a storm. While the temptation to turn back to what was E (easy – the wind at my back and my husband’s pick up truck on the way to save me), it would not have facilitated my goal of moving to P (painful – building my endurance and muscle strength).
I had a decision to make, one that was made even tougher with the thunderstorm looming larger and larger in front of me. Was the fear of the impending storm great enough to turn me back to E? It almost seemed as if the storm was a sign from the Universe that I should turn back to something safer, something that didn’t hurt, something that didn’t exacerbate my stress levels, something that I knew I could handle.
But I knew better. If I was going to both build my physical strength and endurance AND beat the storm, I would have to keep pushing forward. Just like moving from E to P, it required a huge push, an explosion of energy. I took some deep breaths, steeled myself, and pushed onward as fast as I could.
And guess what? No, I didn’t escape the storm. I did, however, only have to ride through it for about 5 minutes. It was scary. I got drenched. And I made it home. Safely.
I parked my bike, stripped out of my wet clothes, jumped in the shower, and yes, I patted myself on the back. In the span of an hour or so I had managed to move from E to P on my beach bike. I was pretty darn proud of myself.
So what’s it gonna be? Do you want to take a chance and ride through the storm in order to grow stronger and feel triumphant and enjoy growth and future possibilities? Or do you want to keep doing the easy, familiar stuff so as to avoid a few raindrops? The choice is yours.
I’m here to help you ride like the wind…into the wind…through the storm…to the other side. I have a feeling you’ll like it over there!