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  • Dr. Lesa Lawson

Persistence Through Pain

What better way to start off 2018 than to tell you about Patricia – Patricia’s pain and purpose.

I will be featuring some of my clients over the next few newsletters, with their permission, of course.

Patricia is a vivacious lady in her early 50s, who has had a desire to own and ride a motorcycle since she was in high school. Life, children and circumstances intervened for years and she put the desire aside, until about two years ago.

With desire renewed, Patricia studied for and passed the written test for her motorcycle permit. Some time later, she took the plunge and signed up for for her lessons on the riding range. Her friends tried to dissuade her, asking, “Are you going through a midlife crisis? Are you crazy? Are you going to ride on NYC streets? People die a lot in motor cycle accidents.” Even her doctor added his naysaying to the other voices, telling her of a patient who had fallen off her motorcycle and severely injured herself.

Lesson 1: Your vision is for you. Sometimes, you need to keep it to yourself.

People may discourage you from something simply because the vision is not theirs; the idea does not appeal to them. Work to make your vision your reality and hold your tongue.

To use Patricia’s analogy, “You can’t tell me to stay in my lane and you don’t even have a car.” She decided that she did not want to hear anymore of their dire warnings and advice. She started her lessons. They were to be completed in an intensive three-day course on the range.

The demonstrations and practices were going well. On the fourth exercise, it happened. Patricia fell off her motorcycle, peeling her arms on the pavement, spraining her right thumb, and injuring her wrist. This put an immediate halt to all lessons, as her instructor told her that she was a danger to herself and the others on the range. She would not be allowed to continue.

Lesson 2: When those who love you try to crush your dream, decide then and there if you will allow them.

Bruised and hurting, Patricia recovered at home for a few days, then made a decision: “What was foremost on my mind was that this is only a fall and NOT a failure.” She would take private lessons. She researched, found an instructor and began. She started her set of 16 exercises. When she got the 4th of the 16 exercises, she began to struggle with fear. She was also having trouble controlling the motorcycle. The accident and the voices were loud in her head. Would she help them thwart her vision or make it thrive?

“I needed to conquer that fear. My instructor, Andrew, encouraged me to overcome my fear. Once I passed that 4th exercise, the remaining 12 were challenging but I passed them successfully. A friend who owns her motorcycle in Curacao, told me, “You have to control that motorcycle or it will control you.”

Lesson 3: Fear; control it or it will control you.

Patricia failed the rider’s course after successfully completing all the exercises. Five days later, she returned to the range, determined to conquer.

“Andrew worked with me and encouraged me to move past the fear and dismiss the voices. He told me that he’s confident that I will pass because I now have control of the bike.”

On the day of the second test, Patricia told no one; she simply went to her appointment.

“I was getting too many negative responses from family and friends.” I went and I did the Basic Riders Course retest five days later and passed. I feel so happy Dr. Lawson. When March or April comes, I’m planning on buying my motorcycle and taking some advanced classes to learn to ride more confidently on the street. This is something I wanted to do since high school and I finally did it. What matters is that I did it and I’m proud of myself.”

I am so proud of you, Patricia! You taught me the value of perseverance pre-empting pain, and determination despite doubt. May I remember that lesson on the motorcycle of life.

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