Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In my work as an executive coach, I regularly get feedback that I enable people to do more, get out of their comfort zone and do something different that will make a difference ultimately to achieve and succeed in whatever guise success means to them.

So, my husband and I and a friend (should anyone else care to join us - let us know?) are embarking on an Enduro Challenge in 12 month's time (I've just has a baby) to raise at least £25,000 for two children’s charities …… charities that for various reasons are close to our hearts…..more on that later.

Now, my husband has been a bike fanatic since he was a child, and has a lot of motorbike experience, albeit on the road. Our mate also has a lot of experience off road and on road. I, however, whilst having a motorbike licence, haven’t ridden a motorbike for about fourteen years. Apart from perhaps sitting on one or two – but that doesn’t really count as being in control of one now does it!

So, when we announced to friends and family that we were planning a five day entirely off road challenge in mountains or desert, challenging terrain and potentially challenging weather, I was viewed as insane, mad, gutsy and everything in between. A friend pulled me aside and quietly said, ‘Have you ever been on an endurance bike?’. ‘No’ , I replied. He looked slightly aghast, looked as though he was going to speak further and then didn’t. He competes in Enduro most weekends. ‘You have to push your boundaries in life though don’t you’ I said, he wasn’t convinced.

Last Sunday was training day one. I have booked my husband and I onto an off-road day in the Peak District in four weeks time. When I chatted with the guy that runs the place, he said 'Well so long as you’re bike confident that’s fine and then you’ll get a lot from the day'. My husband has done some off roading already, 50% there then? !?

Sunday afternoon in the glorious Spring sunshine I spent some time on a little yellow GasGas - stalled about 8 times, kick starting it back into life – well I don’t think I’ve quite got hang of that yet and as for what gear I was in? Absolutely no idea – so for those of you who don’t ride a motorbike - I had to do the uncool rolling it backwards and forwards thing to check whether it was in gear or not (if it was - it wouldn’t!). I nearly got unseated by a large rabbit hole too!

I was on a field near my home with my husband who was looking after our daughters and starting the bike - time and again - when I stalled it. When I finished a final circuit, he asked if I’d been using the back brake much. Hmm – oh yes – I’d forgotten about the back brake. That would explain why on more than one occasion I almost propelled myself over a fence when the front stopped and the back didn’t - remember that from learning some years ago. Not as dramatic as it sounds but a learning curve nonetheless. A somewhat worrying tendency to glance at my foot when I change gear has developed too- bit like glancing at your hand when one changes gear in a car! Not useful or very clever! I feel there may be a number of those learning experiences on the horizon.

As Lao Tzu said ‘ A journey of a thousand miles starts begins with one step’.

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