bike shadowA few weeks ago on my bike ride to work, I crashed.

To clarify:  I “crashed” on a sloping curb, going about .5 mph, and looked really dumb doing it.  I could also say that I fell over from lack of momentum and indecision.  Here is what went through my head right before I fell:

“Ok, slightly big bump on this curb coming up, let’s be ready”

“Wait, should I go around it or over it? Ummmm”

“Oh, I’ll go over it … I think. Maybe that is a bad idea … “

“Nevermind, ABORT!”

“Crap … I’m at the curb.  I gotta go over it … I don’t know … maybe I can unclip my feet … AUGH!  WAIT! … $&*@#$&*(&!!!!!!”  … (Then I hit the curb without any momentum whatsoever and fell over on the street.)

The rest of my defeated ride to work was spent trying to figure out why I fell.  And I think it has to do with how we can set ourselves up to fail in a lot of areas of our life…without ever meaning to.

I crashed like a slow motion movie clip because of my inability to make a choice and commit to it.  I not only questioned my choice when first making it, but I then when against it… and even worse- completely doubted my ability to complete the task.  I thought a lot about how with so many areas of life – kids, health, job, new found hobby, marriage – they are bound to fail or drain you if you don’t make a commitment.  I have plenty of examples, but a few that come to mind are:

  • Attempting to RE-sleep “train” our toddler when she moved from a crib to a bed.  I think we came up with a new “strategy” every 3 days.  The only thing that finally worked (after three months of sheer insanity) was when hubby and I agreed that we were going to try one tactic… and we committed to it for 2 long months.  That commitment convinced us (and her) that it was going to work, dammit!
  • I am tasked with identifying and providing training and professional development to a wide variety of non-profit employees with limited resources and time.  If I was not fully committed (and slightly idealistic) to making the small programs or classes we provide useful and relevant, I would have crashed and burned a long time ago.  I have to really believe in my gut that what I’m doing is right… and just push forward.

But isn’t that the case with nearly everything?  At some point, you just have to trust your gut, have some faith, and push forward in the best way you know how.  I’m pretty good at making up my mind about something and moving forward, but I was often missing a key ingredient.  I think that bike crash helped me see that my internal commitment is just about as important as the motivation and values behind it.  I have to believe that my choices are the right ones for me, my work, and my family,… and dig in without looking back.