I went biking this morning. I was all zen, listening to the sounds of the birds, breathing in the beautiful, fresh air. I was feeling my muscles burning, I was thanking my heart for pumping my blood so efficiently and working so hard. I was feeling good about myself for being out in nature and exercising. I was in a very peaceful place in my heart and my mind. Totally zen and Buddha like. You know what happened next? No, I didn’t crash into a parked car (although that might have been a good story too).
This woman came cruising by me and she passed me. As she passed me I went from Buddha to Boxer chic in about 2.2 seconds. I immediately stepped up my game and started pedaling faster because from behind this woman shouldn’t be passing me. I was more fit than her, I was younger than she was and who knows what other story I started making up in my mind (my outfit was probably cuter). All I remember was wanting to pass her. Badly.
Just moments before I was one with everyone. I was not competing with anyone. We were all on this delightful, glowing journey together; helping each other, accepting each other, loving one another and dancing around in fairy dust. The next thing you know I’m in fighting mode. I’ve got my boxing gloves on, sweat is dripping from my cheek and I want to win. I want to win because I know I can. Because even if I can’t I need to try. I can’t be pedaling around town slowly. I need to prove something to someone. Bigger, better, faster.
It took me a couple of seconds before I realized how hilarious I was being. I slowed back down and laughed at myself. I laughed at that ambition that hangs out just waiting for me to get all hot and bothered. My natural reaction is to bring it. In my world, there is no time, space or energy for playing the victim card. There wasn’t a moment of, poor me, I can’t go as fast as she can. There wasn’t a moment of defeat. I immediately went into the Go, Sara, Go gear. Push yourself. You can do it. I think I was just born this way.
I backed into the zen gear again. It was hard to do because it wasn’t my natural reaction (obviously). But I wasn’t racing anyone. I didn’t need the boxing gloves. I wasn’t trying to beat a time. I was biking to be outside, to move my body with no judgement, no pressure. As a driven person it is not easy to operate this way. I have to set the intention of ‘go easy’ as I put on my helmet. I love to push myself and there are times that it is important, fun and exciting. But there are also times to let that go. To practice doing it differently. To practice a healthy way of living, of loving myself, my journey and accepting all of me for who I am. I choose to reject that ‘hard core, all the time’ way of living. I’ve done that. I’ve pushed hard and burned out. I’ve gone fast and crashed. I’ve operated on high speed and it didn’t work for me. But choosing to change doesn’t happen over night. Damn it. It would be cool if it did.
I didn’t catch up with that woman. I’ll think about her for the rest of the day though and how grateful I am that she zoomed past me and put up that mirror for me to see myself so clearly. Thankfully I was able to catch a glimpse of myself laughing. It is working. Not overnight, but it is working. I am becoming who I’m meant to be.