September 28th, 2010
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!” ~ Dr Seuss
Well, this week’s 52NEW didn’t go quite as planned! The idea was to learn how to do a “wheelie” and “bunny hops” on my Mountain Bike. I was fairly confident because when I lived in Squamish, I spent a good amount of time on a bike – not doing anything fancy, but still plenty of time in the saddle!
It seems that it has been a few years.
When determining what to do this week, I was looking for something that would be a break from the more “emotional” side of things and just be some fun! My goal was to show moms and others that they could go out and surprise the kids with some cool tricks.
Mmmmm. Maybe not.
It turns out that I can solve a Rubik’s Cube, but hopping like a bunny and doing a wheelie are out… at least for now. I did say I wanted to have fun and I succeeded (even in the rain). I even learned one “trick”, but you will have to watch the video to find out what.
An interesting discovery in the process of this 52NEW was the whole boy versus girl thing. Both Craig and Steve could pop the front tire up like it was nobody’s business. Steve hadn’t even tried to wheelie in 10 years, yet BOOM, there it was. Grrrrrrrrrrrr… They kept saying it was because they had been little boys once upon a time.
WELL! STOP RIGHT THERE!
Two men telling me they could do something and I couldn’t because at one time they had been little boys and I had not?! It didn’t go over so well. Mind you, I bit my tongue, listened and observed. These two chatted about the bikes they built, the ramps they had crashed over and the “epic” wipeouts that only 10-year-olds can have. It made sense really. They did play differently than I did, and I was a tomboy!
Muscle memory is a magical thing. If I had spent my youth crashing bikes and rebuilding them, perhaps I would be popping a wheelie and moving on, but I didn’t. I spent my youth jumping horses and climbing trees. Totally different skill set.
It is a lesson worth remembering.
Even though I get frustrated when someone automatically assumes I can’t do something because of my gender, over the years I have learned to bite my tongue and figure out WHY someone would assume that. Sometimes it’s because they are sexist asses, but other times it’s merely because that’s the way life has worked out. The guys I was with never assumed that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but inherently understood that they had the upper hand simply because… well… they had done it before. So while I didn’t learn what I set out to this week on 52NEW, I do appreciate what I did learn, including one fun Mountain Bike move.
– Look where you are going.
– Your Mom was right – you won’t melt in the rain!
– Your bike peddles have grippy things to keep your feet in place.
– Craig is funny when he falls down
. - Sometimes this girl can’t do everything boys can do… at least not as quickly!
In just 3 weeks 52NEW is proving to provide more insight than I had expected. Along with the tangible lessons above, it was once again reinforced it is about the “act of” and not necessarily the outcome. I could of gotten frustrated, pretended I wasn’t crying and stomped off, muttering that I had something else I had to get done. Even worse, I could have blamed the bike, the grass, the rain, or whatever else was a handy excuse for my failure. It wasn’t that long ago when that is exactly what would of happened.
Not anymore…and that feels good.
If you catch yourself in this type of behavior, take a moment and a breath and put on a happy face, even if you are faking it. Let someone else be the best, the second best, even the 10th best. You enjoy being you and people will enjoy being around you in the process. That’s what it’s all about – having fun in your own skin within a community rather than standing alone at the top of the pile refusing to play because you might not out perform everyone.
In my world I have worked, played, loved and am related to over-achievers. It can be tough on the ego, especially when you are young, because it takes a while for the knowledge to hit those over-achievers that not everyone can read as fast, jump as high or sing as well. To this day, if I’m being honest, I will tell you, just for a moment, I would like to be the BEST at something. I want top prize and I want it in front of as many people as possible. (Yes, I have my Oscar speech prepared.) Obviously, those desires are seeded in childhood insecurities and other “button pushing” events in my life and my job is to acknowledge them, learn from them and move past them.
Move past? Ok. I’m still working on that. But with every 52NEW, I get a little closer to the moment when my skin fits just a little better and the applause of others isn’t as necessary as the applause of my soul.
Enjoy the video!