For over 20 months, I lived in FEAR of a bike course. It had become a GOLIATH in my mind. Little did I know, I had the strength and courage of David within me
I was a runner for 24+ years. An IT Band injury in the fall of 2008 led me to try road cycling. It was love at first bike! While I was a mediocre runner at best, I found I could excel on the bike! I even did some racing.
In March of 2010, at my first road race of the season, I crashed my bike. I walked away sore and shaken, with some road rash and my bike required minor repairs. My body would heal and my bike could be fixed. My mind, however, that was a different beast altogether.
For over 20 months, I lived in fear of that bike course. I had created a giant in my mind. I saw it as an extremely steep downhill in the middle of a crazy s-turn. I allowed this fear to make me timid, insecure, and hesitant in my riding, playing small in something I had come to love.
In spite of my fear, I knew that if I wanted to race again—as well as become a better cyclist—I had to face it. The fear, and the course.
In November of 2011, my luvies and I secured our bikes to the top of the car and drove an hour to the racecourse. As we parked the car and started to unload the bikes, we realized that Jim had recently loaned his pedals to a friend. Thus, he would not be able to ride with me. So, instead of facing this giant with my best friend, the person who always has my back, I had to face it alone.
I set out on course, finding my cadence and settling into a rhythm. And when I came to the “extremely steep downhill in the middle of a crazy s-turn,” something remarkable happened: I barely noticed it! The downhill, or the s-turn! It was so small and non-intimidating! I powered my bike over the little anthill, pedaled through the downhill and turns, and came out powerful and fast on the other side. And proceeded to do it again, and again. Fast forward to March 2012 when I would return to race this course, averaging 24 mph over 18 miles… hills, s-turn and all!
What was I so afraid of? Why did I wait so long to try again? Why had I let this get so big in my mind? What was I thinking? And there lies the point… it was my thinking that got me into trouble, putting me in a position of fear, and frozen in a place of inaction.
If we remember the story of David and Goliath from 1st Samuel, it was Saul and his men that were so afraid, they froze. They were completely incapacitated by fear. Goliath brought an entire nation to a standstill simply by his look and his words for forty days! Yet an enemy’s bark is often worse than his bite! David, standing in faith with what he knew, defeated him with just a slingshot and a stone and the right mindset.
I dare say it is not the “Goliath’s” that are the enemy, but our mind and fear. If in our mind we see our self defeated, then we are indeed, defeated. And fear makes things seem worse than they really are.
We all have these “giants” in our life; things that we make out to be bigger than they really are. Things that threaten to leave us frozen in fear and inaction.
Whatever your giant is, trust me… it’s not as big as you’ve made it out to be!