January is the time for New Year’s Resolutions, promises we make to ourselves and oftentimes have trouble keeping. As soon as we falter in these resolutions we feel guilty and just give up completely.
But January 1st is nothing but a date on the calendar. We are the ones that infuse it with meaning. Every day can be a new beginning, every minute a chance to start over. If you falter in that new diet don’t feel guilty, that only compounds the problem, instead ponder how lucky we are to be able to start over at any moment.
Last year I set many goals for myself, some met others not. I wanted to challenge myself to do things outside my comfort zone, alter preconceived notions about what I could and could not do. I wanted to reinvent myself, not for other people, but for myself.
I’ve always been somewhat bookish, afraid of heights, un-athletic, more indoors that outdoors and I told myself that this was who I was, I told myself this story, other people supported it and I believed it. Until last January when I decided to challenge these myths and see what happened…what an adventure it has been.
As a child I never learned how to ride a bike without the training wheels. I was too scared of falling. So I got together with my best friend who was also a biking novice and we headed down to the bicycle shop. We decided if they didn’t have bikes for our respective heights we would take it as a sign we weren’t meant to learn that day but if they did, fate was sending us a message. They had two of the most perfect bikes waiting for us…destiny was talking loudly.
I didn’t get the hang of it right away, I almost fell and I was scared. Little kids starred at us, adults must have thought we were somewhat deranged but we refused to allow ourselves to feel silly. A couple of hours later we were both riding our bikes down the street…it was magical. Today, I’m quite the avid cycler- you’d never know I hadn’t been doing it my whole life.
I’ve always wanted to ride horses but fear of heights was always a barrier. This year I decided to push myself and took lessons. My instructor told me she had never seen an adult start beginner’s lesson- ouch! But I decided to tune her out and continue. I was petrified but as soon as I relaxed, I loved it and I’ve been riding many times since.
There have been many other adventures from motorcycles to paragliding. But it’s not about the bikes or the horses; it’s realizing that all limitations I had, I had placed on myself. We set our own parameters in life and when we challenge the status quo we realize we can do anything we set our minds to. This year I intend to set the bar even higher…I’ll let you know how I do.
Victoria Baker of Greenwich is an opera singer. Winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists all over the world (notably at Lincoln Center). Should you have any questions that deserve answers and may be in print please call 531-7499 or email [email protected]