Learn a New Skill For Your Fitness Dream

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Heather’s dream is to share with the world her success at becoming healthy after age 40. Heather lost over 88 pounds through changing her diet and incorporating exercise into her busy life. She would like to take what she has learned about becoming fit after 40, and using her Metabolic Training Certification to help others struggling with weight issues mid-life. Heather’s post day is Monday.
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 image quote: We learn by pushing ourselves

Confidence in your dream makes a huge difference. If you have always wanted to learn something that would help you in your dream, but have been putting it off, this article will get you motivated.

The latest adventure in my health and fitness dream had me getting comfortable with something that seemed very confusing: Bike maintenance.

Learning a new skill in your fitness dream can be daunting.

It was 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning and I was pulling my bike of the back of my car. The local REI store wasn’t even open yet, but the bike tech shop in the back, that I had noticed in passing on my frequent visits was full.

The instructor met myself and another participant at the front to unlock the door and lead us back into the room. There were five of us total ready to learn, what was simply titled “Hands-On Bike Maintenance – Drive Train”.

As I walked into the shop I wasn’t shocked that I was the only woman in the class. I was surprised at the mountain bikes that outnumbered the road bikes in attendance.

My first task was to get my bike into the repair stand so we could have everything at working level. If you aren’t sure what  bike repair stand looks like, check out the image to the right.

This was a treat since anything I had attempted on my bike was done while it was hooked into my trainer – which holds the back wheel so I can ride in place. Great for a workout, but tough if you need to work on something.

I put my things on the ground by my work space and lifted my bike up to the open vice that is apparently supposed to grab onto the seat post. There was no way this would fit. Lets just say my leg length really does not require my seat to be that high.

A fellow classmate helped me extend my seat and get my bike set in the stand.

This was pretty cool! The bike was high enough to get to all the working parts without having to bend over like a pretzel. Anyone out there who has had to work on their bikes would do well to invest in one of these helping hands.

The benefit of being the only woman in a class? You get picked on… in a real-world learning kind of way.

I really wasn’t sure what the class would cover in the planned 2 hours. I knew it had something to do with getting a clue about how to manage the whole pedal/gear area in case something went wrong.

We got some great tips on what to touch, and more importantly what not to touch. Since the room was filled with all different bikes, we got a tour on how different drive trains require different cleaning, especially on mountain bikes.

I had to laugh that my standard road bike kept being the test subject on how things work. The instructor did eventually admit that it was because it was the cleanest bike there and the parts were easy to point out without chipping off mud chunks.

The details on basics were great and because we could walk through the process on our own bikes, my confidence in the process got a huge boost. Moving parts around and understanding the interaction made that black-box feeling go away.

Fitness Challenge Bike Maintenance as a new skill

New skill learning is awesome when you have that “I get it!” moment

My favorite part of the class was when the instructor, a Master Tech with over 20 years experience, told me he was going to really mess up my rear derailleur so I could determine what was wrong, and fix it.

This was of course with all four guys gathered around my bike, watching me figure this out.

I stepped up to the bike and ran through the tests to narrow down what was up. Shifting through all the gears, there was a distinct clicking of the chain against the rear derailleur so I starting talking through the options of fixing it.

Learn a new skill - bike maintenance

I got most of it right, and once the instructor admitted he really did a number that I had no way of fixing without borrowing a tool, I was off and running.

This type of information, even though it seems easy to blow off, is vital in our dream goals. You’ve probably heard the expression “You don’t know what you don’t know”.

In my fitness dream goals, I had no idea what I didn’t know about my bike to keep it maintained for all those long training rides, or emergencies in my next race, until I took this class.

Get that dream confidence boost

You know there is something that you have been dying to learn. Whether it’s the fine art of cooking, or finding a travel buddy, there is always something to learn in your dream.

Take action on one of these as your dream challenge this week:

  • Find a class in your area that teaches you that one thing you really want to learn
  • Find a person that is doing what you want to do, and ask their advice on the best place to learn
  • Pick one dream book from your giant pile of I-am-going-to-get-around-to-that books and read it. Cover to cover.

Work on your fitness dream and learn a new skill this week. Please share your plan in the comments!

– Heather

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  • We all think your story is remarkable. You keep challenging yourself to do something new. How inspirational!

  • This is great advice: “Find a class in your area that teaches you that one thing you really want to learn.” This is what I have done and attending a class helps tremendously with improving your skills — in anything — especially fitness. To have the feedback from a teacher who has been at something for years is invaluable and well-worth the cost of the class.

    • Thanks Cath! It takes courage to go learn something new, but you are right on target that the feedback is priceless.