Each year in late June, I take a pilgrimage to Tucson with my girlfriends. It is to my very own Disney World, what I can only describe as the Happiest Place on Earth. It is Miraval Spa. Oprah put the spa on the map, with her famous Swing and a Prayer leap with her BFF Gayle. But, my friend Kate Perrin has been going to Miraval for 18 of its 20 year existence. I was fortunate enough to join her on my first pilgrimage a few months after my twin sons were born eight years ago. This year, there were just three of us, Kate, Sherri Core and me.pic1

Over the years, our group has ranged from our core three to nine. And, we have done all of the crazy, fun, and out-of-your-comfort-zone activities. But, one has really stuck. It is mountain biking.

On my last day of this year’s trip, I took a great ride that made me think how the obstacles on the trails are much like everyday life. Most of them are not about the challenges you face, but how you handle them. In July, I got to take my swan song ride with just an amazing guide, Matt Voss, and an awesome mountain bike.

pic2It was one of those mornings I will not soon forget. It started out with a note in my bathroom before I headed out on my journey – how can you top this for inspiration?

As we set out on our ride, my first thought was about my previous night of sleep. I had a lot on my mind and was tossing and turning all night. Had I actually even fallen asleep? When I woke up, or got out of bed I should say, my first thought was I did not get enough quality sleep. Should I call and cancel? I know the rides are demanding and without starting out in a strong frame of mind, it can be tough to keep up. I did not want to disappoint other people that could be on the ride by holding them back. But, I decided it was my last day of a great trip, I would just have to go for it.

This past Spring, there was a lot of talk in the media about women and our mindset through the Confidence Code. Many women, myself included, have always felt we have to be fully prepared and qualified before stepping into a new situation. After much thought around the topic, I realized that everyone has doubts, and everyone can have a tough time in new and uncomfortable situations. I developed the mantra of “go for it” during that time.  Something about the discussion just clicked with me. Why should I assume that someone else is better qualified than I am or more prepared? I get up every day and work hard, achieve goals, manage clients, manage employees, manage three sons, manage a demanding household, and keep a very active schedule. Why did I think all of that is not a great training ground for whatever challenges I face?

Plus, with a 6:00 a.m. start time, I did not have a lot of time to talk myself out of the ride. This is why in my day-to-day life I always work to tackle my toughest task first thing. Then, everything else is a cake walk, right?

When I arrived at check in, I realized there was nobody else riding that day but me. At first I was relieved. Then, a bit terrified. With it just being me, how could I keep up with a guide that does this for a living? Luckily for me, Matt is a wonderful guide and overall genuinely nice guy, and I had been on many rides with him in years past. When I saw him, he instantly remembered me and my enthusiasm for mountain biking.

And, I remembered, he is a great rider. My game plan instantly went to follow his path. I understood if I followed Matt, watched his technique and did what he did, I would be fine. Why re-create the wheel? Why not watch and learn, do what I can based on his lead, accomplish what I can on my own, and add my own flare once my confidence is strong?  I was ready to “go for it.”

It is always important to remember that some days are better than others. Some days you think things are stacked against you, and the outcome ends up great. Then, other days, you think the wind is at your back and there is nothing that can stop you. Until it does.

As we set out on our journey, it struck me. This ride is like every day. We have struggles, obstacles, laughs, challenges, triumphs, beginnings, ends, and achievements. This ride can take factors in my everyday life and put them in perspective.  And, because I had stepped away from the everyday when I took this journey, everything became crystal clear.

Hope you enjoy the lessons from my journey.

Stay tuned…

Check out part two, Anticipate the Ride.



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