Leaning into the slide

This morning brought thunder, lightning and rain. It seemed the perfect accompaniment to my own mental state, which felt uneasy after a night of strange dreams, the details of which I can’t quite remember. (Perhaps a Law & Order marathon before bed wasn’t the best idea.) For a moment, I wondered what kind of tone this would set for the rest of the day, then realized that I set my own tone for the day. Perhaps this morning’s stormy weather and my own stormy mind mean there is something I need to pay attention to. I’ve learned that uneasy feelings are actually good. It seems counterintuitive to lean into uneasy feelings. When something makes us feel uncomfortable, we tend to back away.

My dad taught me how to drive, and one of the lessons I remember is how to handle the car when it slides on ice — turn into the slide. If you turn your wheel out of the slide you’ll end up doing circles.

Not a bad metaphor for life. What slides are taking place that might be made better by leaning into them? What slides are you turning out of, causing you to go in circles instead of moving forward?

Shaving legs

Muddy legs from a trail run, complete with shaving scars.

Catching up on the stack of magazines piled on my kitchen table, I flipped through last month’s issue of Bicycling to discover an entire feature package on shaving one’s legs. For those unfamiliar, in the elite cycling world (and often in the triathlon world) men will shave their legs. Why? There is theory and reality, discussed in very entertaining fashion by some pro cyclists in one of the magazine’s stories, but some of my male friends who shave do so because road rash and stones on a hairy leg goes beyond mere discomfort and into pain.

But I am not here to offer an opinion into the “shave or don’t shave” debate but rather the sidebar which gives eight steps and a full page photo layout, on how to shave. (Sadly, I could not locate this gem on the magazine’s website. Sorry, but something in me just found it humorous that there was a step-by-step guide on how to shave your legs. OK, I get that guys don’t grow up with this knowledge. But when I was 13 and it was time to shave my legs, my mom handed me a pink plastic razor, a bar of soap and said, “have at it.” Seriously, it’s not rocket science. Then again, I still have some scars on my legs from early encounters with the Lady Bic.

Crazy congratulations

Regular readers of my blog may recall my friend Hitch, whom spent many of his Saturday mornings with me last year on long, hilly bike rides while encouraging me through my first 2.4-mile practice swim in Lake Placid. This past weekend, he took his own racing to a new level when he finished second overall in the intermediate distance at the Keuka Lake Triathlon. I was so excited for him, I nearly threw my smart phone in joy after reading the text. (This, of course, is one of the reasons why the phone is smarter than I am.) Hopefully, he will have his race report up on his blog soon, but check it out regardless. It’s worth a look-see.

It wasn’t so long ago when Hitch and I sat in a downtown Buffalo restaurant, plotting out his course of triathlon life on the back of a paper placemat. Not that I had specific knowledge of how to get him where he wanted to go. Those were details. And sometimes, we get too caught up in the details. Instead, we looked at goals and desires and dreams and outcomes. We didn’t think about how he was going to get to where he wanted. We thought about where he wanted to go, who he wanted to be, what he wanted his life to be like. There is power in that. The gurus call it “acting as if” while the popular rhyme calls it “fake it until you make it.” Either way, it’s about clearly defining what you want then going about your day as if you already had it.

I’m terribly excited for Hitch’s success. But I’m even more grateful for the reminder that life can work wonders when live your vision and let the universe figure out the details.

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