1. Riding my bike to work most days (and I turned in my parking pass to make sure I do!)
Some years back I put away my bicycle. Whenever Sam asked me about riding, I said I was too scared. More than a decade ago one of our local cycling clubs met with a horrific accident when out for a group ride one weekend morning. A truck driver ‘didn’t see them’ (‘distracted,’ according to reports) and plowed right into the group. A colleague in our philosophy department was among the seriously injured. And a well known local artist, Greg Curnoe, famous for his paintings of bicycles, was the one fatality.
Staying off a bike forever because someone died in a rare accident is like never driving again because someone else got killed in a car accident. That reasoning could keep me hiding under the covers for the rest of my life.
So I bought the commuter bike. And then the road bike. And now I’m riding with clipless pedals!
When I started back into weight training with a personal trainer almost two years ago he urged me to start running.
“Not going to happen,” I said.
Why not? Because almost every runner I know has been injured.
I polled my Facebook friends about it. Lots had been injured and lots hadn’t. Sam made the most compelling point: if you’re injured in running it usually only stops you from doing one thing: running.
So I tried it. Slowly and cautiously. Then Chi running came to my attention (thanks Mum!). And though I’ve not yet found a workshop, I do have the book and it has helped my form a lot. And, look Mum! No injuries (touch wood).
3. Owning a road bike and using clipless pedals
Commuter bike, okay. But clipping in and riding out on the country roads? Never. Well, okay, not never.
4. Training for an Olympic distance (or ANY distance) triathlon
Triathlon was even more remote from my realm of possibility than running. That’s something athletes do. Apparently, then, it’s either not something only athletes do, or I’m an athlete. Either way, I’ve completed two minis (okay, one became a duathlon but nevermind) and I’m now training for a sprint distance in the spring and an Olympic distance before my 50th birthday next September. Like: I’m swimming, biking, and running. Me. Tracy I.
5. Hot yoga
A few years ago I participated in a student event on campus and as a gift of appreciation, the student group gave me a class-pass for the hot yoga studio just around the corner from my house. I accepted it as graciously as I could, even though I had no intention of ever trying hot yoga. I had dedicated myself to my Iyengar practice and it was serving me well. No need to branch out. And anyway, there was no way I could bear doing yoga in a hot room.
Flash forward to about four years ago. I still had the pass. Some small voice inside of me said, “Why not?” So I went. It zapped me of energy for the rest of day. I went again. I bought a one-year unlimited pass.
I didn’t get rid of my Iyengar practice, but I love, love my time in the hot yoga studio.
And that’s just about activity. I also never thought I’d be vegan, or an intuitive eater, or stop thinking about food all day.
Taking the risk to try things I thought I’d never do feels good! I’m taking my “never say never” idea into my running. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I have it in my head that I’ll never be a fast runner (or even faster than I am now). But maybe that’s not true either.
I’d love to hear your stories of things you’re doing that you never thought you’d do (good, positive things — no confessions, please).
[image: “Mariposa Low Profile,” by Greg Curnoe]