My husband and I were biking recently. I enjoy biking but don’t do it often enough to be steady so it doesn’t take much for me to fall.
My husband bikes all the time so as we proceeded, he would yell back to me, “Be careful of the hole in the road.” Or, “Watch out for the post” or anything he thought could cause me to fall. My problem was that as soon as I saw an obstacle, I would keep my eye on it and for sure I hit or almost hit it.
It became very clear to me after nine miles of biking that if I didn’t want to hit an obstacle, I had to focus intently on where I did want to go rather than where I didn’t. This is easier said than done since my fear of falling always made me focus on the obstacle. There was lots of time to practice and by the end of the ride, I was getting pretty good. What’s more, my spirits were so lifted knowing that I actually had more control than I thought.
I try to remember this in everyday life. There are so many obstacles in everything we want to do. We try to get to a meeting in a timely way but the traffic is a problem. We want to go to dinner but someone turns up sick. We want to go on a trip but just don’t have the money. It becomes almost like a game at times (when I’m not going crazy with frustration) to find the good in each situation. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a lesson in everything. I know too that I want to be a good person and live a grateful life. My goal is to just keep focused on the things to be grateful for. There will still be problems but I might just find a better way around the obstacles.
Please understand that this is a learning curve where just when I think I’m doing well, I fail miserably. But I can remember the feel of that bike trip when I went from fear to having a sense of competence as I realized my control of the bike was all about focus and then it was smooth sailing.