|Posted by Karen M. Wyatt on July 1, 2010 at 3:55 PM|
This summer I took the bold step of signing up for a 100-kilometer bike ride that will take place in one month near Vail, Colorado. Though I now own a spin-cycle and use it for indoor workouts during the winter, I am a novice at biking on the road and so, am learning from the tire-tread up how to navigate on two wheels. I have discovered that there is a reason why they make padded biking shorts, that there is a second gear-shifter on the left handlebar (and it’s important), and that a bike can take you to places you never knew existed. I am slowly, gradually, getting into better physical shape and enjoying much of the experience.
This biking challenge would be enough for one summer, but for some reason, I decided to add another twist. I signed up for an internet writing seminar led by Mark Victor Hansen (yeah, one of the Chicken Soup guys) and have made a commitment to write a book in 90 days. (That’s not a typo: 90 days.) So, I must be really crazy or have too much time on my hands!
But, it turns out that committing myself to two impossible tasks in one summer actually makes each task easier in the long run than if it were my only project. Let me explain: somehow, riding and writing have become synergistic activities for me; each one builds on the other and helps me accomplish more than I could have thought possible.
Just when I feel stuck and discouraged about my writing, I go out on my bike and have an incredible ride that reminds that I can accomplish anything I set out to do. I come back and write with renewed energy. Then, when I’m sick of being in the saddle and thinking I need to quit this training regimen, I make progress on my book, gaining new insight through my writing. The next morning I can’t wait to get out on my bike and cruise once more through the beautiful mountain scenery, celebrating how lucky I am to be alive.
My riding training is giving me increased energy and stamina and an outlet for stress, helping me sit at my computer for longer stretches. The mental workout of writing a book is improving my focus and concentration so I can cope with the psychological challenge of riding in silence mile after mile. While I am riding, my creativity flows freely as I make up titles for the chapters of my book and list in my head every possible synonym for words like “determination.”
While I won’t be the fastest rider on that 100-K trek, and I’m not likely to write a New York Times bestseller, I have absolute confidence now that I will finish both of my summer challenges. And, after that, who knows what else I will take on? Why I could actually do anything if I really wanted to – I know that now, for sure because I have just what it takes: positive belief in myself and determination (or perseverance, stamina, tenacity, fortitude, stick-to-itiveness, persistence, intrepidness, constancy, diligence, stability, steadfastness, adherence, endurance, assiduity, guts, durability, obstinacy, stubbornness …