There are so many times in life when we are presented with a challenge which the more experienced or more skilled could accomplish more easily. Whether it is a new website design in a language you only half know, or a presentation you had exactly one hour to prepare, we all know that sinking feeling when someone asks, “Well, I can always give the job to _____”, a more experienced person.
For me, it is my upcoming bicycling trip with Parks and Trails New York. It’s 400 miles across the state (Buffalo to Albany) along the Erie Canal. I did the ride last year with no knowledge of biking in groups, or really, biking at all. I never even knew what the point of all those gears were, except that the higher gears made you go faster.
Now, I have so much more experience, but I haven’t trained as much (not that I trained too much last year, summer classes got in the way). I’m also not as pushed towards excellence this year. Last year, I made a promise to myself that I would bike every single mile of that trip. Make it up every hill. This year, I am more inclined to take pictures of everything and anything – I really want to capture the beauty of the trip.
I’m also promising to myself to enjoy it this time. Not that I didn’t, last time, but sometimes I got too focused on the fact that I was going slow or the need to be done for the day. This time, I really am going to focus on the touring aspect and not so much the athletic aspect. I am satisfied – I have done those hills before.
In the same manner, it is skill that opens us to enjoying new things. Just like when we reach a new degree along our path, or a new discovery, we get like, a new playground to explore. When we graduate high school, the world opens up for us with more opportunities, not less. And so, having done this trip before, I think my eyes will be opened to an entirely new variety of experiences to be had in my week long vacation.
But, that brings me back to my point. Am I strong enough? Will my skill compensate?
Just some thoughts.