I read a lot, and I have since the 4th grade. I read for different reasons. First, it’s because I enjoy it. I can sit and read a good book for hours. With the Kindle, sometimes I am in the middle of 2 or 3 at the same time. I also hate being bored. Standing in line, waiting at the airport, or any other time I have to ‘wait’ for something, breaking out a book makes it go faster.
And then, there is one of the best reasons. Sometimes, no matter what the book is, I will read a phrase or paragraph that makes me stop and think. Or one that relates very well to me, or both. This happened just recently when reading “Divergent” by Veronica Roth.
I don’t have a direct quote, but in essence, it said the things you do, and your experiences has an effect on your bravery and confidence. I have to agree.
In the book, the heroine had to be brave and was the first one to jump blindly off a roof, hoping that there was something below to catch her far. Scared the heck out of her. Not two weeks later, she had done so many other things, that jumping off the roof was second nature to her.
I can apply this same theory to both work and play… At work, I know I can pull off things that can be close to miracles. I am currently teaching a class and working on 3 projects when I can squeaze them in. I am able to do this without too much concern because its stuff I know, and know well. I have taught the class many times, and I have put together material for this group as well. I will get it done.
I won’t say it’s not stressful! But at no point and I concerned that it won’t happen. (Hell Scotty kept the Enterprise flying no matter what, how can I do any less!)
The same can be said for the outoor activities I do. I can remember WAAAY back before I ever tried climbing Mt Rainier. I read about a local hike, up to a place called Mt. Si. It was an 8 mile round trip, and almost 4000 feet worth of an elevation gain. Then to top it off there was a rock scramble to get to the summit! I had that page of the hiking book hanging on the fridge for years, but didn’t climb.
Then, I was asked by a coworker to go up Si for a training hike (to climb Rainier) In November! Hiking in November???? People die in the cold! I ran out, bought long johns (cotton (cotton kills, but I didn’t know it then)) and hiked in jeans.
Now? I’ve climbed it close to 100 times. Hell, I could climb that puppy in the dark if I had too. And with the gear I now own, it could be pitch dark and a blizzard, and I’d still make it and be warm the whole time!
The same goes for cycling. I remember losing sleep the night before my first century ride. Shoot, I remember a time being worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish the Chilly Hilly (33 miles). It was over 12000 miles ago, and all very new to me.
Now? 33 miles is a shorter training ride. I use it when I don’t have time for a ‘real’ ride. The 100 mile century? Well I will train for that, but that us as much to keep the butt from getting sore as it is to be able to complete the ride.
Reading that part of the book reinforced to me what I have tried to do always. I challenge myself. I set the goal every year to keep my butt in gear and legs moving. I’ve ridden 200 miles in one day, so there’s no reason, at least in my mind, that I can’t complete any century out there.
So if there is something you’ve wanted to do go for it! When you succeed, the next time it will be MUCH easier to do it again, And who knows, you might get cocky enough to do even more! I do!