Monday, July 7, 2014

Choose change

I am anticipating a bigger alteration in my life and lifestyle, at least for the next few months, than I imagined when I first got my cancer diagnosis. The required changes will likely limit my ability to teach indoor cycling in the ways I have done in the past. The effects on my outdoor cycling will be even more significant.

I have, of course, started to think about how to enhance my skill at teaching off my bike indoors. I already do some of that but my students are trained to expect me to spend a lot of my time on a bike in front of them. I need to change their mindset as well as my own. The best way to do that is to ensure that they have positive and positively different experiences when I am doing something the 'new' way.

Yesterday I gained some insights into the potential for both me and them to deal with the changes ahead. I coach a group of my indoor students on weekly rides outdoors. I could not participate on my bike this week. But I really cared that some members of the group receive support on key portions of the route. So I chose to drive my vehicle and meet them at specific points for skill discussions and cheerleading.

Last night I received this email from a woman who had been unsure about whether she should attend the group ride this week because of some challenges in her own life.

Hi Chris,

Thanks so much for your conversation on Friday to set me up with confidence and success for today's bicycle ride. AND today for your before riding talk, checking in with me and others during the ride. My favorite part of the day (other than pub) was cycling up North Mountain. I really was not sure my body could handle the climb. Once I began the climb and got a feel for it, I KNEW I could complete it. Seeing you standing in the middle of the road at the top of NM put a big smile on my face. I could see this tall figure with dress and shawl blowing in the wind taking inventory and good care of all us cyclists.

I was tested today to really trust myself, and follow through with what would be best for me. Thanks for making it so easy.

It didn't matter to her that I was not on a bike and, in fact, I was more effective on several occasions than I might have been if I was riding with the group. It is clear that both my students and I will adapt to the new normal and that we will be enriched by doing so. Once again, change is good. Don't wait for change to be forced on you. Give some thought to doing something different and then do it!

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