A few months ago, we bought a bike chariot to tow around my son, Axel-- the kind you hitch to your bike. Thus far, I had never been the one to tow him around. I had let my husband do it. I consciously wanted to try to tow it myself because I wanted to be able to take Axel to daycare in it, go to High Park, and maybe even go get groceries with it! But every single week, I had some excuse to not do it (it’s snowing so it might not be safe right now, it’s rush hour so bike traffic is heavy and it might be dangerous, hooking it up looks complicated, maybe it isn’t good for Axel’s health to be close to other car exhaust).
SO. MANY. GREAT-sounding excuses.
But guess what? Yesterday, I told my husband I was going to try it. I thought he was going to forget about the idea, but a few hours later he said: OK, let’s do it! Now!
I had absolutely nowhere to hide, and had no half-legitimate sounding excuse to not try it then and there. So I got outside, and only then did I realize I was actually afraid! I was afraid the chariot might tip over or that I might crash with it attached to my bike. And sure enough, when I was putting Axel into it, my bike tipped over, scraped my leg and came down with a big clatter. But guess what? The chariot was made to NOT tip over. Even if my bike did! So, I picked it up, mentally and physically dusted myself off and finished getting Axel strapped in. I asked my husband if he had any final words of advice, and with that I got on my bike and started pedaling slowly.
And guys. It was So. Easy. Like, Dead Easy. And it was even FUN once I got going!
So, here’s what I was reminded of: sometimes, (most of the time), our fears are just so unconscious. They’re in our blind spots and they’re limiting us in ways we can’t really see. Secondly, I was reminded that when we don’t attend to our fears, they actually take on a Life of Their Own. They become a mental bogeyman, and we just want to avoid avoid avoid at all costs. But avoiding doesn’t actually look like avoiding to ourselves. It looks like great reasons!
So I’m gonna ask you: what is something that YOU’ve been putting off for a long time? Hunt that shit out with a flashlight and confront it! You will grow. You will be happier for it. You will get results.
I’m so so glad I tried towing Axel in his chariot today. I gained confidence and freedom. I can finally take him to High Park on my bike by myself! I know that if I can shine a light on all my fears and expose them for what they are (literally just thoughts that can’t actually hurt me), then there’s absolutely nothing I can’t do!