Confession: I have some triathlon training fears to overcome. Lately, for some unknown reason, I’ve been really scared to fall of my bike. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m an ER nurse and I take care of people who have had bike accidents and have been hit by cars and stuff, or if I’m just psyching myself out, but every time Davey and I go for a bike ride, I
kinda totally freak out.
We’ve eliminated all of the possible threats we can think of but I’m still scared. We found a park to bike in, without a car or traffic light in sight. Davey even removed my clipless pedals and now I bike with the cage straps so I can get my feet free. We’ve lowered my seat and raised my handle bars and made sure my helmet is nice and snug. I’ve even been tempted to buy a mouth guard to prevent knocking out all of my teeth if I happen to crash but that might be a little overkill.
Anyway, guess what? On our last ride, I wiped out and fell off my bike. Thank God I fell into the grass. I came out with a few minor scratches and thankfully, I still have all of my teeth.
Fear is such a huge emotional barrier in life, and even in triathlon training. It’s not always easy to have courage and do things that scare you or to try something new even though your heart is pounding out of your chest. But, I think it’s ok to be scared…
One time, Davey and I went white water rafting and my biggest fear came true, I fell out of the raft into the rapids. After I got back into the raft, Ed, our river guide made an interesting comment. He said, “When you live life aggressively and go for it, life is more exciting and it goes smoothly (like going through the rapids). But if you live timidly and are fearful that you’ll get hurt, or fall out of the raft, you most likely will.”
The road that we bike on has these green barriers in the middle of the path every few miles. The first few times we approached them, I literally got off my bike and walked it past the barrier because I thought I was going to hit it. I was focusing on the barrier rather than on all the space I had to ride in.
So my advice to you, and to myself, is to stop focusing on your fears. Instead of dwelling on what could go wrong, visualize your success, and imagine how great you’ll feel after you finish a challenging ride or a tough swim. Tell yourself that you’re strong and capable and confident. You can do this! Look ahead and focus on accomplishing your goal.
And if you do fall off your bike, then muster up your courage, get back on and keep riding!