Perseverance, Realizations and New Tricks

Today I made two rather large realizations about myself.  I wasn't expecting either, but both were welcomed with opened arms.

The first came during my morning Body Pump class.  I was lying on my back, arms burning with each bench press, chest tight and flexed, when I suddenly remembered a similar scene a few years ago.  I was lying on my back and poised to push the weighted bar into the air... but I couldn't.  My muscles had deteriorated too far to lift just the bar... a measly 7 pounds.  Having been able to {easily} bench press 75lbs the summer before, it was then that I realized something was seriously wrong with my body (something I had been in denial about for a long time) and made an appointment with the doctor.  Less than a month later I was diagnosed (you can read a little about that here).

Remembering this moment was huge for me.  It wasn't too long ago that I had a doctor telling me there was real potential I would someday be in a wheelchair due to deteriorating muscles.  Knowing that since that conversation I have completed a marathon, hiked the Grand Canyon, completed a century bike ride, and am now back to lifting weights... well, it just reminds me that with the right mind set and mental fortitude, anything is possible.  It also reminded me to be thankful for how far I've come and to stop focusing on how far I have left to go.

I will get there.
I'm proving it each and every day.

The second realization was made while driving back from the gym.  I was riding with my friend Ryan who drives a vehicle with a manual transmission.  He and I are planning a road trip for the end of March and we have decided to take his car.  This means that I have to learn to drive a stick shift. 

Now I grew up on a farm and with brothers who rode motorcycles and 4 wheelers, so the concept of using a clutch is not new to me.  However, driving a vehicle on the road with hundreds of other cars is something altogether different.  So when Ryan casually asked when he was going to teach me to drive his car, I shrugged and said, "I don't know, when are you?"

Little did I know the answer was, "now."

That's when I realized that I'm not comfortable learning new things in front of others.  I love to learn new things, but I want to learn them in private and then have someone give tips for how to improve later on.

This is silly.
This is ego.

It was difficult for me to accept the lesson on the spot.  No time to prepare, no time to think it through, no time to come up with excuses for anything.  But I pushed my comfort aside and graciously got behind the driver's wheel and allowed him to teach me.

And you know what?  It's not that hard!  I don't know what I was so afraid of!  With Ryan's patient and calming presence I was feeling comfortable with the process in no time.  I don't know how many opportunities I've let myself pass by because I wasn't comfortable being vulnerable.

Today reminded me that when I operate from my center and let the ego fall away, good things will always happen.

Pretty happy to be able to drive a stick now!