Last week, I survived two root canals. It was probably the anticipation of the procedure that brought me the most angst. In these situations, I turn to the tools in the toolbox to calm the nerves. I brought a beaded diffuser bracelet and as the dentist performed her magic, I placed my finger on each bead and counted. If I lost count, I would l simply start again. It gave me something to do and think about in a stressful moment. It helped me ground, slow my breath, and settled my nerves. I survived.
A few days later, I was pedaling my heart out on my bike when I came to the "The Hill". This hill has been my arch nemesis for 6 years. Many cyclists dismount and hike the majority with their bike. However, not this time. This time, with quads burning and sweat stinging my eyes... I made it up that damn hill. Maybe the universe sent me this victory to remind me who I am. I am an athlete that is trained to withstand discomfort for hours. The secret to making it through this challenge was a deep breath.
Both stories carry a life lesson. We get through by going through. Learn to be with the hard times rather than rushing them. That's where we build resilience. And the difference between nervous and excited is simply a deep breath.