Yesterday I participated in Cycle United, a major fundraiser for the United Way of Washington County. As a new member of the board I was looking forward to volunteering for the event, which I thought would involve helping with registration. Imagine my surprise to learn that the board had a team and that I, during a moment of weakness, agreed to cycling for one hour of the eight hour spinning event. I say it was a “moment of weakness” because I had never taken a spin class before.
It certainly will not be my last. The fitness experts who led the sessions were amazing and the volunteers were especially kind and helpful to those of us who were newbies. A big shout-out to Heather Penkala O ‘Neill, owner of South Pointe Fitness Club in Hagerstown, MD who led my session with the perfect amount of energy and excitement to make me want to return.
But here’s the deal. Many of the people participating were AVID spinners and let’s just say “they rode like they stole it!”
My strategy, on the other hand was to:
a) Not fall off the bike with my feet dangling from the toe clips.
b) Keep moving for the entire session.
c) Refrain from crying, swearing, or engaging in any behavior unbefitting of a board member.
During that time I was able to reflect on the similarities between my cycling experience and the people of our community served through the United Way. This is what I know:
a) Never be ashamed to ask for help. No one is better than another. We’ve merely had different life experiences.
b) Show gratitude, always.
c) When resistance is too much to bear, do what you can to reduce the tension.
d) If (c) is not possible, repeat step (a).
e) If you can’t keep up, just keep moving. Doing something is better than doing nothing. One step at a time. One day at a time.
f) Sometimes it hurts but there is nothing more gratifying than pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
g) Never, never give up.
And at the United Way, neither will we.
*Note: At the time of this posting, the event raised close to $25 K which will remain in the local community. Well played, Washington County. Well played.