I am not a cyclist but love riding my bike with my family around the coast. Today I went on a 12km ride. We rode on a hilly coastal route enjoying the glorious view of the ocean. This ride is significant for me because prior to being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis I would ride it regularly with my late husband and children. For some reason though I had stopped attempting this ride thinking my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis meant I would no longer be able to make the hills. My fear stopped me from attempting something I had loved.
These holidays I decided that I was going to make this ride my goal. I set an intention to challenge myself and we went on smaller rides including an 8km flat ride and I slowly began to gain confidence. This morning I said to the children that today we are going to do the ride. The children and my husband had nicknamed the route ‘riding to Perth’ because they believed it was so far away.
I was nervous to give it a go and feelings of fear began to grow in my head.
What was I fearful about? In hindsight, I have no idea – I guess fear of failure, fear of not being able to make it home, fear of not being able to do something that I previously found easy, fear of change.
The most beautiful part of the ride was the three voices of my children motivating me and cheering me on. My son set checkpoints along the way to break it up into achievable chunks. Their support was balanced with a sense of fun. Suddenly an overwhelming task felt like a natural part of our day. It was no longer an unachievable task but an enjoyable outing. MS wasn’t stopping me only the fear I had formed in my mind. My legs were sore when I got home but after some refreshing coconut water and rest I was quickly re-energised.
It is amazing how a positive intention can quickly move an ‘I can’t’ to an ‘I CAN’. It reminds me to focus on my strengths instead of choosing to focus my attention on my weaknesses.