Live a Zip Ties and Duct Tape Life

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A couple weeks ago my husband surprised me with a late graduation gift that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time: A brand new mountain bike! To say I was ecstatic is an understatement. I love mountain biking. Am I good? No. Do I try? Yes.

In case you’re curious, my new bike’s name is Margo. As in, “Why is the carpet all wet, Todd?” “I DON’T KNOW, MARGO!” Because when I showed it to my mom she said, “It’s a beaut, Clark!” I went down the rabbit trail, one thing led to another, and *poof* Margo is the name.

Sweet Margo!

Digressing…

We all know I’m an “in my comfort zone” type of person. In fact, if you don’t know that you either don’t know me, or you’ve fallen victim to my forced attempts to live life jumping off the dock when no boat is in sight despite the fact I want the boat tied securely to the dock before I step on board. I work really hard to push myself out of that comfort zone. I  know all the cliches. I know nothing good comes from within my comfort zone, and that’s where I grow, blah, blah, blah.

Ummm…This boat is not tied up tight enough for me. Who’s shoddy work is this?

As I’ve gotten older I believe the “fake it till you make it” mentality is finally starting to ingrain itself through my think skull and now (I can’t believe I’m typing it out), I actually enjoy seeing what else is out there.

So back to the mountain bike.

I usually like to ride trails I know, with people I know (and trust immensely) in case I get abducted by aliens, or the apocalypse occurs, or I get a flat tire.

Yesterday I went for a ride by myself, on trails that I can’t ride in my sleep, in non-perfect conditions (flurries, showers, sunshine, a standard Colorado mix). What may be meaningless to some was a big deal for me. I was proud of myself and I wanted my husband to validate that pride. Which he did, after I asked him if he was proud of me, of course.

Proof of my solo adventure (and the crazy CO weather)!

Then he threw in a curveball of Stan wisdom that usually, when it comes, feels like a cranial punch.

He asked if it was a big deal for me and when I told him about the aliens or apocalypse he simple said, “You’d figure it out.”

Smack!

He is so right.

The truth is, in this circus of life we are all just figuring it out. No one knows the divine road map.

Enter zip ties and duct tape.

I’m a firm believer that the most valuable asset someone can have is not a specific experience, a perfect pedigree, a piece of paper with your school’s name hanging on the wall…it’s the MacGyver ability. Yes, you know, MacGyver. I hear he’s made a comeback, but the original show is the one to which I’m referring.

This MacGyver, not that new young whippersnapper

With seconds left before a bomb detonates in a locked space the size of a shoe box, MacGyver could avert disaster with a zip tie and some duct tape. Every week, a different compromising situation and a different mind-blowing solution with bobby pins, a Tic Tac, or whatever was handy.

If you’re still following this spider web, here’s my point: Whether it’s business, personal growth, relationships, whatever, we all need to use the resources we have to move forward. You have what it takes for your journey! It looks different for all of us. No one is perfect. Truly, NO ONE! We are all figuring it out, stubbing our toes and busting our chins along the way. That’s the beauty of it.

This guy is having a serious bad day, he’s in a suit and tie getting abducted, at least I would have been on my bike!

So my husband was right. If something would have happened on my ride – maybe not an alien abduction – I would have figured it out. Just like I have in the past and like I will again in the future. And you know what? I’d be a better person for using my ingenuity, volition and creativity to do so.

Last week I attended the 2nd Annual NASC Women’s Summit in Tampa, where I heard the talented Blair Bloomston from Game On Nation speak about personal branding (she’s awesome, by the way). Blair so eloquently reminded the audience that our work (or fill in the blank) is part of the bigger story of our life, not the other way around.

Opening reception of the Women’s Summit. Drinking cocktails on the beach on a Wednesday. It was rough. Photo: NASC

All these circumstances we face, they are a part of building you. They are a part of building me. Our unique purposes and stories. So embrace it. Step out of your comfort zone. Keep a list of the times you push your boundaries and reflect back on them when you doubt. Remind yourself that you are awesome and that no matter what you face, you’ll grab your zip ties and duct tape and figure it out!

This is Stoll on Sports. I gotta go, Murder She Wrote comes on at 7…

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