Why is trying something new shit scary?
It has taken 26 years for me to muster enough courage to learn how to ride a cycle. Of these, I guess, the last 20 were spent mostly trying to convince myself that I am ‘too-old-for-that-sort-of-thing’. I mean, who wants to fall on her bum when she is way past her ‘oh scars are so cool’ phase? But I did put it in my list of things to do when I started this blog. So if you go through the list, you will see I have done some of them, and have bettered my expectation in a few as well.
Take cycling. I am not going to lie. The childhood circus shows may have had better trained animals of two wheels. But I still went to Alibaug on my orange and black Firefox Roadrunner in the quite crazy heat of May. I cycled, panted, drank water, panicked, cycled again and reached the point from where we were to turn back. This after starting at 4.30 in the morning just so that no one would have to wait behind for me to catch up. To be honest, I did have enough time to catch my breath in our hour long ferry ride, where we sat atop the ferry and tied our 40-odd bikes in the deck below. That gave me enough strength to cycle to Alibaug, stop for a nice meal and head back to Bombay. I am more confident now. And I do not necessarily scream if I see a dog crossing the road in front of me.
And according to that same blog post, I wanted to do the dream run in SCMM someday. That is 7.5 kms of walking/ jogging which I hoped I would someday be fit enough to do. Cut to 2015. I have had the most fabulous experience of running with friends, been cheered on by them and scolded alike, and have finished a couple of half marathons. So that is a mean 13 kms more than I ever expected myself to do. No wonder I ran with a self-made poster which said “We are stronger than we think” in my last two races and wrote a pat-myself-on-the-back letter as well. I am not a fast runner. I am not even graceful on the road, though I do smile a lot when I see people around me, and I may or may not have broken into a jig on Marine Drive during the last SCMM run. But I am better than what I thought I would be. I am stronger – both physically and certainly mentally, than I was ever before.
And these same bunch of friends have also recently made me try climbing up a small hill off Mumbai-Karjat. The Bhimashankar Hills trek was wonderful (and slightly painful to my palms which gripped branches too tight and clawed at the ground to get a better grip). Physics of stepping at the correct angle aside, I slid, crawled, climbed, sighed and did all that I had to. And in the end, I came out fine. And with one more thing checked off the list which I never though possible.
All this makes me wonder, why would anyone not love herself, if she was finding new things she can do everyday? Damn! I am good. (And to my friends who have been behind each of these incidents, you guys are obviously, the best. And I am quite silently and politely going to be possessively protective of each of you. Keep pushing me, okay? Even when I don’t want to do it myself.)