Showing Up

Read Part 1 at 303cycling.com to get the 1st half of this story.

Here’s Part 2, which is appropriately called Showing Up.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? All you have to do is just show up. But there are so many things that potentially get in the way. Time and planning (or lack thereof). Traffic. Motivation. Intimidation. Notice a theme here?

Couple of weekends ago, I could’ve slept in…but I didn’t. I had every reason not to show up. I was scared, not in shape, not experienced enough, it was a long drive, I had other things to do. Regardless, I showed up to participate in my first criterium road race.

Guess what? I had a shit ton of fun. Not only did I have fun, I surprised myself. I really enjoyed those downhill sweeping turns, and with each one I gained even more confidence in my bike handling skills. The uphills were killer, but I got through them and lived even though I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest.

I definitely got out of my comfort zone and I’m so glad I did. The awesome thing was I found out from one of my teammates that I helped my team earn points for the Rocky Mountain Road Cup just by showing up and finishing the race. How about that!

I’m going to get on my soapbox for a second (or two), so indulge me. I hear so many women in my life – friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers talk about why they don’t show up to various things. In this case I’ll give an example of a group bike ride. Last weekend I summoned the forces of Facebook to conjure up some folks to ride with. I received many comments and text messages from interested parties.

The morning of the ride, four of us showed up. Afterwards I received messages of “I wanted to go, but didn’t think anyone there was my pace.” My response usually goes something like this…”if all of you who worry about being too slow would just show up, you would have someone to ride with.” Besides, what’s the worse that could happen?? You end up riding alone…but hey, you got your ass out to ride!! What’s so awful about that?

For the crit race, I knew I was going to be last. I knew I was going to be riding mostly alone. I didn’t care. I wanted to get more experience with road racing. I wanted to earn more TSS points (for all my TrainingPeaks nerds out there). I simply wanted to ride my bike, and ride it as fast as I could. All I had to do was show up, and I’m glad I did.

So the next time you feel an itch to do something and feel unsure about things, just do it. Don’t wait for someone else to give you permission. Don’t wait for your best friend, significant other, or anyone else to join you. Don’t worry about pissing off your friends because you’d rather go do something else (if they were your real friends, they’d understand and support you). Next time may never come. Seize the moment and just show up. It’s that simple.

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