I Think I'm So Tough
Yikes, did I take a long hiatus or what? Sorry about that. Anyway, I want to share with you a story of something that happened to me back in December.
I had bought a used bike. I decided to go for a ride on a Sunday afternoon. I rode about 10 miles out, turned around, and as I was heading back I got a flat tire. “That sucks,” I thought. So I started rolling the bike next to me as a ran/walked home. About 6 miles out, another cyclist with a portable tire pump stopped me and offered to pump up my front tire, “at least so you can get home.” I thanked him profusely.
I started riding again and about 3 miles out not only did my front tire go flat again, the front brake completely locked up. I was right outside the mall, it was almost 5pm and all of the Sunday holiday shoppers were leaving the mall and traffic had gotten pretty intense. One shopper tried to help me unlock my front brake, but to no avail. The two of us together could not pry the brake away from my mushy front wheel.
I thanked him – and his wife – profusely as well, for taking the time to try to help me. Since rolling the bike next to me was no longer an option, I had no choice but to hoist it over my shoulders and carry it the rest of the way home.
Okay fine. I did have one other option. I could call an Uber Black, (code for an SUV–sized Uber ride). That way, I could get a ride home AND the bike would fit in the SUV as well.
I pondered this idea. My arms and shoulders ached as I awkwardly hiked up a hill, bike parts dangling over me, not to mention the deep ego bruising concurrently taking place from all the shoppers in their cars staring at me like I had 3 heads.
It was tempting. Home seemed so far away at this point. And I was embarrassed by the spectacle I seemed to be making alongside all the traffic.
Then suddenly, I thought “NO! Absolutely not! That would be such a wimpy move to call an Uber! And I’m not a wimp!” I shifted the bike to my other shoulder as a I paused in front of a traffic light, and said to myself, “Let’s do this.”
What’s my point in telling you this story? It’s cause I want to tell you: if a challenge pops up in your life, take it on. Look it in the face and say, “Challenge accepted.” There are many cool new inventions in our society today that ease the pain, lessen the blow, numb the intensity and side step the road less traveled. But you know, deep in your heart, that this is the stuff of life. This is what will make your life authentic, and real.
And are those luxuries sometimes needed and/or well-deserved? Absolutely. But whenever possible, seek out a way to grow. Remember your human roots. Iron sharpens iron, and you are not going to learn who you really are if you are always avoiding the tough stuff. Dive in, dare to be brave, hold your head high because you are proud of your decision, and see what cool new realization may greet you around the corner.
And yes, I did make it home that day. I am absolutely fine and I lived to tell the tale! LOL. And… I grew that day.
I expanded my experience, and I believe it made me a tiny bit wiser, a tiny bit tougher, and definitely more grateful than usual to see my front doorstep. Hey, I’ll take a tiny bit of growth any day of the week, in comparison to my other option, which is staying stagnant! I have grown so grateful over this past year for tough experiences, because I know that new knowledge and perhaps a sweeter, even deeper experience is just around the corner.
In conclusion, I implore you to NOT follow the herd. Don’t just be another robot that says “The sensible thing to do would be to call an Uber.” Instead, stop and think: could the universe be handing me an opportunity right now, to better know myself, what I stand for and what I am truly made of?
Have a great week friend. Talk soon.