Bend, Oregon is a mountain biker’s heaven. Jason, my finance, and I have been here for the past couple of days breaking in our new Ellsworth bikes and training for some up coming adventure races. Spending each day on miles of amazing singletrack, I have been putting many of my physical skills to the test–technical uphill, tight switch backs, log and boulder hopping, and fast, loose downhills. The result? I am finding that in order to pass my external tests, I have to first face my internal ones.
I am bad at being bad at things. What makes this even more challenging is the fact that I want to be able to be good at almost everything. For example, I will have a great session on the slackline and be really happy with myself, but then go climbing and get frustrated with myself. This is all even more difficult because I tend to define the level of what “good” is by the skill of my companions–and most of the guys I train with have been experts in their sports since I was a teen.
I am often not in the present moment, not patient with myself, and my own worst critic. Luckily I have a fiancé who has already struggled through this dilemma and is helping me through it.
“You are only 25 years old Chelsey! Enjoy your journey.”
This is a constant statement in our relationship. Whenever he sees me get frustrated with myself, or say “why can’t I do this!”, he reminds me to stay present and enjoy my own personal journey- “and that includes all the peaks and valleys.” After hundreds of talks
and reminders, it is finally starting to trickle in. By taking deep breaths and repeating loving, encouraging mantras to myself I am beginning to bring light to my dark places.
Jason and I recently attended a weekend acrobatic training taught by our friend Lux. Lux’s one rule was that no one was allowed to use the word “can’t” unless they immediately followed it with the word “yet”.
I have adopted this rule and am trying to use it in all areas of my life–and I offer it to you as well. Because deep down, I know that the true success of any adventure depends not on how well I perform, or whether I reach the summit or win the race–but in how I relate to myself, the environment, and my companions. It all boils down to this. I can’t do everything… yet.
Chelsey Gribbon of Team Yogaslackers is our Yoga guru and a world-class adventure-racer to boot. She’s traveling, training, and has even made a video, V.I.B.E. or Vinyasa Inspired by Experience, for Women’s Adventure readers. Stay tuned for more ways to integrate yoga and your adventures.