So I was on the treadmill the other day reading my book. I don’t usually use treadmills, but when I want a read, I do.
It’s a strange combination but something I perfected years ago – expanding my mind and lungs whilst shrinking my waist always seemed like an ideal package to me.
I know there’s all kinds of gadgets that tell you if last night’s burger has yet been eradicated, if your heart is still beating, or if your shoes are tied securely…
But technology changed my gym life primarily because it meant that my pages no longer got soggy.
Now the book I was reading was by John Lyndon, a kind of Sex Pistols memoir (so everything to be taken with a pinch of salt etc), however a quote I came across that had an instant impact on me was
“There’s nothing to fear but fear itself”
This got me thinking, what have I feared recently, and has that fear helped me or compounded things?
All I could think of was the fear I was having of getting out on the road for first time on my new Vespa.
The first seed was planted for my eventual foray into the biker world and my current status as a ‘biker’, approximately a year ago.
The combination of bus and underground journeys was not only eating at my spare time, but also the solemn faces that I would be faced with each day was asphyxiating my happy-go-lucky vibe.
Something had to be done.
Initially my vehicle to freedom was meant to be engineless. Still tough and sexy (a Brompton), but reliant solely on my flailing limbs.
Everything was going to go ahead until I realised (was informed) that a Brompton’s main selling point is ease of storage.
A definite advantage for any owner, agreed, but for someone in my position, it meant having to procure a cupboard big enough to fit even a folded bike (or remove some shoes) so that ruled it out.
Basically If I wanted to keep my relationship running, as well as a bike, then it would have to go outside…
And that’s when the scooter idea came about.
Now, when it comes to speed, things that involve oil, or danger in general, I can only be honest in admitting that I’m more Noddy than Evil Knievel. But alas, even Noddy has his own transport.
So the bike was purchased.
Every morning I got up, put on my helmet (open face of course), left the house, and then boarded a bus.
What was it that was preventing me from riding in to work?
What was I fearing?
Not knowing what lane I should be in?
In fact, it was all 3.
But in reality how realistic were these fears. If you know me at all then you would say “very real”, and you’d be right… but surely this didn’t mean that I shouldn’t face them head on and try to conquer them.
So one morning, around a month into owning it I got up, put on my helmet, bus pass in hand, and said to myself “No, I’m not going to make myself look like an overly cautious bus traveller today!” and I unlocked my Vespa.
And you know what? I drove in, hassle free.
Ok, I was cold, I didn’t know what lane I was suppose to be in…but I made it…I didn’t die.
AND I got into work an hour early.
You could say in this instance what doesn’t kill you, makes you incredibly punctual.
But I have been riding into work for over 2 months now, and I can honestly say that the decision to not let my fears get the better of me has changed my life massively for the better.
You are always going to be faced with things in life that give you fear, and a lot of times for good reason.
A lot of things that are worth while doing are not easy and will put you outside of your comfort zone, but it’s how you manage that fear.
And it’s the people that don’t let that fear get the better of them are the ones that succeed in life and move forward.
Looking back and analysing this whole experience, I know that the one main thing that conquering this fear has taught me – aside from its feels better to set your alarm at 4.40am instead of 4.15am – it’s that from now on, I won’t let myself fear, the fear itself.
So if you’ve been opening and reading these emails for a while…ask yourself why.
And more importantly, what’s stopping you clicking that link we always post and asking for help.