Hello, lovelies! I hope you’re having an amazing day. I can’t wait to tell you about the exciting and VERY unexpected skill I’ve been learning over the past 8 weeks. Today I’m going to share with you what learning to ride a scooter has taught me about FEAR. Yep, that False Evidence Appearing Real stuff.
If you had told me 3 months ago that I would be riding a scooter on the busy streets of Dallas, Texas, I would’ve said you were obviously delusional. There was no chance that I was EVER going to be open to that. It looked fun and the scooters are super cute, but it’s just not something in the cards for me personally. There has always been a fear deep inside me that I just wasn’t interested in overcoming. I mean who learns to ride a scooter at 45?
But guess what? That’s exactly what I have learned to do. No one is more surprised than I am. Let’s just say somebody in my childhood planted the seeds of fear in me very deeply about riding anything with two wheels, other than a bicycle. It absolutely never entered my realm of possibilities until one day it did.
It began with the E-Bike Idea
The only vehicle of the two wheeled variety that I’ve ever operated myself is a bicycle. And even at that, I never rode it on a busy street or in any kind of heavy traffic. I’m the type that would get off my bike and WALK it across the street instead of riding it to avoid any scary moments with oncoming traffic. We don’t have bike lanes here in Dallas, so you’re definitely taking your life into your own hands by hitting the streets on a bike. It’s not really a bike friendly place.
On the other end of the spectrum is my husband, Joe. He has been riding motorcycles since about the age of 3. Basically his entire life. I’ve seen him ride every type of motorcycle there is. From crotch-rocket sport bikes, to supermoto dirt bikes and everything in between. He could ride in his sleep if he had too! No fear and he loves every minute of it.
For the past year or two I had begun having thoughts of getting an electric bike. Basically a regular bicycle with a small electric motor. I thought this would be a super efficient way to get around, would be great exercise and also an environmentally friendly way to get somewhere. But as good as my intentions were, this plan had some flaws.
First, as I mentioned earlier, Dallas doesn’t have designated bike lanes where we live. The main road outside our neighborhood is a very busy commuter road with 3 lanes of traffic each direction with an average speed of 50 mph. So the reality of me getting out there on a bicycle was pretty insane and just not going to happen.
Secondly, getting to my appointments on a bicycle would mean I would most likely show up a hot, sweaty mess. If you’ve ever experienced a Texas summer than you know what I mean here. My clients are the ones that are supposed to be sweaty, not me! I couldn’t show up sweaty and stinky. Not going to happen.
And third, the average cost of a decent electric bicycle was going to run around $2000 and up! Wow, who knew? This sounded pretty steep for something that I would only ever ride when the conditions were perfect. Not too hot, not too cold, not raining and not really needing to get anywhere fast.
How the Scooter Became a Reality
One day over lunch, Joe and I were discussing the electric bike idea once again. I really liked my motivations behind the idea but still just wasn’t able to justify it. Then he brought up the idea of me getting a scooter. Again, Joe has been riding since he was very little and he is a highly skilled rider, however he would never suggest something that he really didn’t think I could do. This wasn’t his first time making this suggestion but for some reason that day my mind didn’t completely shut it down. I had never even given it a second thought in the past. Hmmm, maybe we should go look at them? It couldn’t hurt to go sit on one and see how it feels, could it?
One thing you should know about us, is that once we get excited about an idea, we typically act on it
pretty quickly. I think we were at the Honda motorcycle dealership that afternoon! We go in and they have 3 Honda Metropolitan Scooters on the showroom floor. The blue and red were cute but I immediately go and sit on the white one. The sales person comes up and just happens to inform us the white one is on sale and would be $1k cheaper than the others. Oh lord. Suddenly another couple shows up and start making eyes at the white scooter, too. Uh oh, they’re not about to get MY scooter. I’ll take it!
My mind is racing and my heart is pumping. Am I really going to do this? Once you buy the damn thing, you’ll actually have to learn to ride it. Oh crap! Joe was promising to teach me how to ride it like a pro. I trusted him and knew that if he believed in me that I could do this.
All the fear that had always been in my system about riding was suddenly being overridden. An energy was taking over me and I KNEW I was supposed to take on this challenge. Was I nervous? Yes. Was I fearful? Yes. Was I going to let that fear stop me? Not this time.
Getting this scooter was not about the obvious here. This was about me needing to overcome a fear that had been very deep rooted. It was about challenging myself at the age of 45 to learn a new skill and gain more confidence. The funny thing about overcoming a long-held fear is that it helps you feel more confident in EVERYTHING. It truly does have a trickle down effect. Somehow I knew this and I was determined to overcome this fear once and for all.
My Scooter Boot Camp
My scooter lessons literally started in our driveway. I was scared to even ride it to the mailbox! But, slowly and surely my VERY patient husband began teaching me the basics. From how to turn it on, to how to use the kickstand. No detail seemed insignificant. It all seemed so overwhelming at first.
He had me keep my feet down and just learn how to use the throttle and the brake. Give it gas and brake. Give it gas and brake. I was literally going 5 mph. But over the next few weeks of riding around and around an empty Sam’s parking lot, I finally began to get it! I could actually RIDE this thing! I could go fast and stop. I could make turns and go around a cone obstacle course Joe set up for me. It was scooter boot camp!
Gradually over the past 2 months, I’ve worked my way up to getting out on that busy highway I mentioned and can “give it the beans” with the best of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still talking to God the whole time inside my helmet, but now I’m saying “thank you for this amazing skill” instead of “Lord, don’t let me die!”
I’m riding around the lake and taking joy rides on the back roads. It’s such amazing fun and freedom. I can’t believe I’m actually doing it. Now, I haven’t been technically going out on my own yet but that day will come. I still have butterflies before we go on a ride but they are getting less and less. I know I’ll still be scooter riding at 70…haha!
What Learning to Ride a Scooter Taught Me About Fear
I took on the challenge of learning to ride a scooter to overcome a deep rooted fear I had. And I wasn’t really sure I would actually be able to do it, much less be able to truly enjoy riding. Now I can honestly say, I LOVE it! I’m not saying the feelings of fear don’t still creep up but it’s a healthy respect and not a fear that’s preventing me from living my life to the fullest.
5 things learning to ride a scooter has taught me about FEAR:
- Many fears, if not MOST fears begin from unquestioned beliefs from our childhood. I’m not saying having a healthy reality check about real dangers aren’t helpful, but I think we have way more beliefs that we need to question and examine to be truly free in our lives. Are these fears really valid or are they just unquestioned thoughts controlling us?
- Just because you have fear about something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Fear is a natural response to a perceived danger. This is an evolutionary tactic for survival. But fear also comes up when we’re lacking skills or knowledge. If we learn new skills and gain more knowledge, our fear about something diminishes. We can learn how to do the very thing we were once fearful of. THIS is exactly how I overcame my fear of riding the scooter.
- Facing what you fear makes you stronger and more confident in ALL areas of your life.
- You can feel fear and still do something anyway. I learned that even though I was feeling fear, I could still learn this new skill. Courage is not never feeling fear. I think it’s feeling the fear and doing it anyway!
- Playing it safe so you don’t feel fear is NOT a way to live your best life! If we live our lives so that we don’t feel fear than we’re setting ourselves up to live a very limited and dare I say boring existence. We are here on this earth to experience life to the fullest. If we don’t challenge our fears, we’ll be limited and destined to live a life of quiet desperation. Now THAT is scary!
I wanted to share my experience of overcoming fear in the hopes of inspiring you to push forward and overcome something YOU fear. Ponder these questions:
- What’s holding you back?
- What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing?
- How would your life be different if you had the courage to do what you really wanted?
Answering questions like this can help you figure out what is truly holding you back and will give you the option to actually decide to do something about it. We’re only limited by our fears if we resign ourselves to be that way. I encourage you to take charge and face that fear!
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