And so I went for a second spin on the bike! I’m not sure if spin is the technically correct (or cool) thing to call it but I did it anyhow. For those of you who’ve been reading my recent posts, you’ll know that I’m somehow, once more in the zone of Feel the fear and Do It Anyhow. It might be because of my 50th birthday last year. It might be that these things come in cycles. It might be early madness. Who knows? It’s happening and I’m embracing it.
Photo: The 50th – a reason for my madness?
So on Sunday morning, I didn’t really give it too much thought. We’d arranged the night before that we’d head up to Greystones (another major road trip) so that Eric could take a photo of one of the photorally points. I wasn’t feeling as scared as the first time; so why was I feeling sick? But nevertheless we headed off; this time with less clenched knuckles and knotted back muscles than before.
I’d reminded myself about not listening to the scary stuff I make up in my head and for the most part, it worked. This time around, I didn’t have to continually repeat the ‘Relax’ mantra in my head and I could begin to take in the scenery on our journey north. I wasn’t falling asleep on the back (insane as it sounds, it apparently happens) but I was smiling sometimes.
I’d insisted we go to Greystones on the motorway. I’m a slow learner and I needed the relatively straight road to get my bearings once more on the bike. Eric is a patient man and obliged (although I’m pretty sure he doesn’t get it!). People are amazing. And different! So while I LOVE public speaking and giving workshops regardless of the audience size; I’m nervous when something involves speed or danger. We’re different!
Greystones was beautiful, bright and busy with dozens of people out walking and enjoying the Sunday morning sunshine. We got off at the photo stop and I imagined that all these people must notice how brave I was. I’m sure I wasn’t making it up! So off we went again.
Photo: Beautiful Greystones and Photo Rally Point
Now shortly afterwards, as we headed into Bray over hilly, narrow Windgates I realised that I’d spent the previous three or four minutes thinking about my planned office refurb! WHAT! How did that happen? I was on a bike and I could allow my mind to wander off the need to stay on the bike. It just might be possible that I was getting the hang of this.
Bray seafront was crowded and full of life. I was still on the bike and smiling. And as I often do when I relax, I begin to think about life and it’s lessons. So here are a few of my considerations from when I wasn’t scared on the bike.
Lesson 1: We often have to do things a few times before we get it ‘right’ and practise always helps.
Lesson 2: Sometimes, life is easy and seems to work without much effort. We can relax and don’t have to keep ‘sweating the small stuff’ and yet we arrive at our destination with ease.
Lesson 3: However, there are times when life gets a little bumpy with lots of unexpected pot holes and bumpy uneven roadworks (like Bray Seafront). And even when we can see the pot holes ahead and know they’re coming, they can throw us a little and make us a bit scared. But it’s okay, they don’t go on forever. Sometimes, its simply about hanging on in there and at other times, it’s about noticing that even though you’re a little shook up, you’re still ok. (I told you I’m a wimp).
Photo: Hanging in there!
Lesson 4: Sometimes the journey has speedramps (like in Kilcoole on our way home). These are the times when it seems hard to get where we’re going even when we know the way. They make things more difficult to navigate and can take more energy to overcome. These ramps can come out of the blue on their own or in a series of tough times that keep you wondering if it will ever end.
We travelled home the ‘back’ road to Wicklow via Newcastle so my musings ended then….
It’s a very, very, very windy road… Bikers love it apparently so I mustn’t be a biker yet. But I did what I could. I reminded myself that all was well, looked at the road ahead so that I could adjust my body with it and stuck close to someone in front of me who I could depend on and who knew more about what we were doing than I did.
I think I might be getting the hang of it but sshh, don’t tell Eric yet or he might think I’m nearly a biker too.