Today was one of those days when I remember exactly why I love biking.
I took my first-ever skate ski lesson this afternoon. It was just over an hour spent in the sunshine with comfortable temps, a cheerful instructor and a good chunk of self-loathing.
Now, I’m the first to say that I’m a rotten beginner, and I’m not even talking about skill. When I tackle something for the first time, I have this charming tendency to turn up the volume on my caustic inner critic unless I’m obviously doing really well. Put me in a group setting, where I have the pleasure of comparing myself to other people, and the critic gets louder and more snarky.
“Look at her, so calm and composed. Why do you look like you’ve never even been on skis? Betcha they’re wondering why they don’t schedule a ‘pathetic’ class for beginners like you?”
Yeah, it’s full-contact criticism with that voice in my head.
But sometimes, I can catch a break in the chatter and tell myself something really useful. Today, I was able to remember a snippet in lululemon’s manifesto: “Do one thing a day that scares you.” Check.
Fighting back tears of frustration, I dug in. I tried to pay attention more to what my body was doing, right or wrong, than to the internal voice I heard sniggering at me. I asked for help, and tried not to cry when the instructor was kind.
I practiced for an hour afterward, just trying to get the feel of this awkward new movement, because dammit, it was NOT going to let this get the better of me. Feisty? Nah.
On the drive home, I tried to pull out of the nasty little attitude I’d cultivated and relax, thinking about workouts I loved. Ah yes. Biking. On two wheels, cruising along, I don’t think about which way my toes are pointing, how my knees are bent or what my form looks like. It’s just pedal, pedal, fly.
To read lululemon’s entire manifesto, go here. Their manifesto poster consistently helps snap me out of a funk and reconnects me with the best in myself.