Greeting the Resistance
Welcome back to the eighth in a series of weekly reflections on the tiny shifts that change everything We signed up for a circumnavigation of Lake Geneva scheduled to depart at 8 am with Bike Switzerland, a club based out of our favorite local bike shop. When the alarm went off at 6:30 am Saturday morning, we just snuggled in closer. I moaned that I didn’t feel much like riding 190k. Hannah groaned back that she didn’t feel like getting out of bed. After a few more exchanges the door to rolling over and going back to sleep was wide open. Then my chump alert went off. I rallied just enough to say if we didn’t get up and go, we’d feel like chumps all day. Hannah didn’t want that either, so up we got and off we went. Riding 190k around the lake is a worthy challenge. Like any true challenge, it came with what can be called a leading and a trailing edge. The leading edge is what pulls you into the challenge or toward your goal. The trailing edge is what gets in your way and holds you back. Recognizing and tapping into the enthusiasm and motivation of the leading edge is easy when the challenge or goal truly attracts you. The tricky part is avoiding being blinded-sided and knocked off track when the trailing edge shows up. Last Saturday it was easy to remember why we wanted to get up and ride around the lake on a sunny summer morning, which made it easy to acknowledge and overcome my inevitable resistance with a friendly jest to not be a chump.
It's harder to remember why this was such a good idea in the first place and easier to get mired in resistance and struggle when your goal requires daily commitment and effort. That's when it helps to remember the trailing edge is part of the process, as it shifts the blame and burden off your back and onto the process itself. Obstacles and resistance transform into something to work through or at least with and time and energy spent bemoaning, ignoring or avoiding obstacles can be re-directed into dealing with them. Embracing the trailing edge when it shows up not only keeps you on track but is often the quickest path toward your goal. The next time you embark on a new challenge or set a new goal, take time to name and acknowledge your leading and trailing edges. When the inevitable resistance and obstacles of the trailing edge show up, see if greeting them as signs of progress and turning towards them with friendly curiosity helps keep you on track. Who knows, once you recognize resistance for what it is, all you may need is a little friendly reminder not to be a chump.
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