Growing in confidence

Today was a big day for me: I successfully replaced my motorcycle chain and sprockets. This is the third motorcycle maintenance task I’ve completed in the past fortnight and I’m proud of myself for having the courage to try.

The task required me to remove the casing on the engine that holds the front sprocket. To do this, I also had to remove the gear shifting lever. Once upon a time that would have been too scary for me because I wouldn’t have trusted myself to get it back on right. But not anymore. I have gained so much confidence this past 18 months that I was able to remove the gear shifter knowing that I would be able to replace it.

I also had to remove the whole rear wheel from the bike. If you had told me a year ago that I’d be able to do that, I’d have laughed at you. But I pulled out the axle, used a breaker bar to remove the rear sprocket, cleaned everything with degreaser and installed the new rear sprocket without incident. I then ran the new chain, measured it, removed the necessary extra links, and pressed the master link and clip into place.

A few days ago I was ready to give in. Today I have successfully achieved a major personal milestone. I am glad I hung on and fought back. Last time I got that low it took months to claw my way back. My recovery skills are improving significantly because this time I only crashed for a few weeks and then have been able to take positive steps in my life.

If anyone reading my blog feels down, insignificant or lost: fight back. Take one positive step every day no matter how small. And then celebrate your achievements; no matter how seemingly small. My next mechanical challenge is to install a fuel filter in my motorbike and to replace the brakes on my mountain bike.

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7 responses to “Growing in confidence

  1. Well done! Home maintenance is very satisfying.

    • It is satisfying isn’t it 🙂 How’s your walking going?

    • Oh and are you getting involved in Trailwalker this year? I’m volunteering to help with course setting and am support crew for my sister’s team. She’s walking with Warren (her husband) and two friends. So I’ll get my Trailwalker trifecta for Brisbane: Walker, Volunteer then Support crew 🙂

  2. You are a fighter, Andrew! You’re a trail runner! Just because you can’t run right now doesn’t mean you’ve lost all that inner strength. You know you’re strong!

    • It’s funny you should write that just now. Last night we had a major drama with the business I manage. It was the sort of drama that causes all sorts of wholly cr*p how will we fix this response and the associated high emotion. At 1am this morning I remembered that I am a trail runner and I though about the things I think Scott Jurek wrote in his book about doing the mental maths.

      I told my colleague to stop everything. That we were going wrong but that there has to be a reason for it going wrong. We stopped. We had a pep talk. We did a diagnostic of the steps that got us to that stressful situation. We went back to basics: decision-making, attitude, process. We identified the cause of the problem. We realised we couldn’t change the cause. But that we could take positive steps to do all we could to rectify it. You can’t change the race course but you can change your approach.

      By 3am we were both tucked up in our respective beds with a solid plan of action. we woke at 5am and executed it. Harnessing all our resources, skills and patience. We then took a break (I went for a run) and breakfast before sending the letter that was our plan of

      The issue is now in the process of resolving. Today I not only went for my first run in months but also applied what I learn from trail running to my professional life. It was a huge step up for me … Being the boss is tough sometimes and it’s a tough gig to master. But it’s like training for a 100miler – every little lesson brings you closer to success.

  3. Congrats! I haven’t done any bike maintenance yet but I’m excited to start.. Changed a car wheel the other week and now I’m sorta raring to go..

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