…Are sometimes very hard to make. I’m conscious that since the new year I have made four or five decisions that I have not found easy and have involved ‘opting-out’ rather than ‘opting-in’. These include stepping down from a governing body, giving up membership of a club, not fulfilling a holiday plan and withdrawing from my tandem challenge from Liverpool to London. As I have reflected on these decisions I realise that maintaining the status quo can often be the easier option but that in the long term this can present real problems. The choices that we make affect the people that we become and from time to time it is crucial that we square up to any challenging decisions. However, before we make a big decision we must think carefully about managing the long term impact and whether others will be affected.
My most challenging decision happened last week when I decided to pull out of the planned tandem ride from Liverpool to London with an ex pupil. I did this because a small delegation of close family and friends decided to share their fears and to remind me of the many potential dangers of this challenge. On this occasion I listened. I realised the risks we would both be taking to continue as planned. I then had to bite the bullet and let my tandem partner know. This was tough and he was understandably hugely disappointed, as am I. However I have chosen to counter balance this ‘opt-out’ with an ‘opt-in’ choice. I am going to complete the challenge after all by cycling the same distance as I was planning (230 miles!) but to avoid the potential hazards involved with road cycling I will instead be cycling solely on a cycle track. Still a challenge, but without the dangers and the fear I felt cycling on roads.
This has reminded me how important it is to be self aware. Before we opt in to do something we need to be aware of what we can and can’t do – I failed to do this with the initial tandem plan. I believe that it is then important to throw our arms in the air, openly omitting that we’ve got it wrong.