I have a confession: I am afraid of riding a bike in the open road. I have a fear of falling off, of making a fool of myself, of getting mowed over by a moving vehicle. While I won’t go to the extent of regression to get to the bottom of this phobia, I did decide to do something else: I decided to get on a bike and try again. And again.
I started with a small goal: Circle a loop around our neighborhood. I then add a loop each time. I have come to realize that baby steps work very well with me — that and not thinking, just doing (yes, overanalysis can lead to paralysis).
On my third day on the bike, I learned two things: how to keep my calm on the bike while a yapping dog chases you… and how to cycle fast uphill. Of course, in a refreshing display of non-Maya-ness, I didn’t let this fast, noisy dog deter me from my goal of three loops. With heart thumping in my chest, I circled the area yet again. This time, I had a good look at the source of my fears — he was a furry football with short legs whose bark made me imagine he was four times his size that first time! I cycled without nary a swerve and I pedaled hard and fast, furball eating my dust.
For me, getting on a bicycle is a lesson in sharpening the saw (to quote Stephen Covey), stepping out of my comfort zone, and getting over a very old fear. Funnily enough, as I embarked on my third round of that loop (bolstered by the fact that I knew this dog was tiny), I was more confident and ready to face furball — but this time, he was no longer there.