I can’t write.
Been sitting here for two hours now, watching the blinking cursor steadily warning me that I’ve not written more than 50 words towards my 1200 words story that’s due on Thursday.
Wake up! It urged. This is one assignment you cannot fail!
The cursor is right, but I am otherwise distracted. I need to stop and try to find focus again, so I am going to fight distraction with a distraction by writing you a blog post instead.
The cause(s) of my distraction
You see, just as I thought my logical brain had won the last argument over my easily excited heart, I’ve forgotten that for most of my life, the heart eventually wins in the end.
Because what the heart wants, the heart gets.
Currently being distracted by three separate, non-writing related thoughts in my mind, but my main distraction is the sexiest thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on. It is resting against the wall at the foot of my bed as if it had always belonged there.
My brand new road bike. I ended up biting the bullet and bought it ahead of schedule.
And it seems, everyone knew I wasn’t going to wait until the next Black Friday to upgrade.
“I knew it wouldn’t be long before you upgraded” (from uni friend)
“I thought it wouldn’t be long before you got a road bike!” (from cycling instructor)
Seems like everyone knows me more than I know myself.
A study of my personality
Ever taken a personality test? No, not those trashy ones you read in Cosmopolitan or GQ. A proper one, with some 100 questions and multiple variations of results rather than just “If you answered mostly Cs…”.
At my last permanent job, we were all encouraged to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test to see how our team could work better together by understanding each other’s personalities.
So we all did it and shared our results. Looking at it again, it explains why I ended up buying the bike.
Of an entire team of business analysts I was the only one who scored more on the extrovert front. This was to no one’s surprise (I think) but what did surprise my team lead at the time, was that while the test results showed that I am relatively level headed (hey, what do you know, I am not a psychopath!), it indicated that I would make decisions based more on feeling than thinking.
Probably not the best personality trait to have as a business analyst, but my feelings (heart) have made some great decisions in my life.
All the heart needed, was a little push towards the right direction.
Every heart needs a hero
Mine came in the form of someone who is currently sitting next to me at my little project in Southampton. Upon overhearing my chatter across the office with other fellow cyclists, she leaned over on my return and said: “I heard you cycle.”
Surprised, not because she overheard me, but that someone usually so quiet and has never spoken a word to me during the entire three weeks I’ve been there had initiated a conversation. It seems I’ve pushed her button now and she was about to push mine.
We got talking. It turned out that she is not just a cyclist, she races professionally. So for a whole afternoon, we talked bikes. She taught me about bicycle parts, how gears work, how to position my hands on the handle bars and how to train to get better.
When she showed me photos of her team training, she instantly became the coolest person in my life.
I explained how I got into cycling, and how much I wanted a road bike. I explained my dilemma of cost and my fear of not being good enough.
“But, if you don’t try, how do you know?”
I’ve had a lot of support for my cycling, and she is not the first person to tell me I should get the bike, although, she was that little bit of weight that tilted the scales of indecision.
That was the moment my heart made the decision. It was already pressing that [ORDER] button even before I got off the train home from Southampton.
It’s time to conquer my thoughts
I picked up the bike this morning and the ride home was wobbly. I’d been too used to the stable hybrid that I am almost shocked how much more control I need to have and unbalanced I am on this bike.
Before I picked up the bike, I had doubts. What if the heart got it wrong this time? What if I am not ready for this?
I’ve spoken to people and read forums. People have said switching to road bikes can be hard, and many have fallen off their bikes because they didn’t clip off their shoes in time to stop. Even the use of breaks and gears are so different that I feared I’d break the bike by falling into traffic before I get home.
But as I curved my fingers over the rams-horn, it had felt so natural, as if I’ve been riding in this position forever. Even the difference in gearing, and the feel of the pedal straps on my feet didn’t seem as scary as it was in my imagination.
Then there’s the power and the whoosh. Doubts vanished into the cold icy air and the ride home was like the perfect love affair I never want to end. I think I’ll be getting those clip on shoes sooner than I thought too.
It’s like anything isn’t it? The unfamiliar is always scary but you’ll never know what will happen until you actually do it.
And with that bombshell, I shall get back to work. The heart had its moment today, the brain had better take over now.