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I Realize I Am Still Chicken

This morning I got the great pleasure of hooking up with Laird for a nice little one hour bike ride.  I thought we would do this usual loop that is about 70% up hill and on pavement.  We leave the house as usual and, of course, I follow my adventurous husband.  I let Laird take the lead and we go for a few miles, and then just as we are about to turn and go down a familiar path he gives me the nod of his head “follow me”.  And I think to myself, here we go!  This is what I love about Laird, why would you take the same path twice; whereas I am trying to memorize every hole and every stone.  Needless to say, he takes me along this private ranch owned by the town that is so beautiful, quiet, and full or horses and roads I have not pedaled.  At one point we leave the gravel and he heads towards a rocky dirt road that then begins to get steep right away.  So, what do I do?  Start assessing.  I realize I am up for just about anything (to a point), but I never just jump right in.  I like to study the situation, observe, and then do the activity at my own pace.  This is another way of saying that when things get hairy I have an initial CHICKEN response.  I can get over it, but it is my first reaction.  “Wait a minute, where are we going”?

I mean it’s already funny enough doing something with your partner, but then Laird comes back up the hill asking me if I had fallen and what was I doing.  I had unclipped and began looking at the road.  For him this is an alien action and even stranger concept.  Once I found my groove I made it up, down, and back up again, and everything was fine.  I was uncomfortable because–here it is—“I wasn’t in control”.  Something new, something different.

As we went racing home there in front of my house was one of my daughters working on her biking to show her Dad and I when we got home that she could ride on two wheels.  I was watching her pedal and realized that the only time she got into trouble was when she slowed down too much.  I guess I could point that finger at myself.

Get out of your comfort zone.  Try something new.  The chicken response is part of my personality, and that’s OK as long as I don’t let it take over to the point that I won’t try new and uncomfortable things.  When I came home from my ride it was not only so much more fun, but also more rewarding.  I never let the pace of someone else pressure me out, but I try really hard to not get in my own way for too long.

–Gabby Reece

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