A couple weeks ago I rode and ran at Route 66 Park. As I finished a man waved to me and asked if I would help him to lift his friend out of his wheel chair into his hand cycle. Sure, I said. So his friend grabbed the guy under the arms and I lifted him up under his knees and we put him in his cycle. Before we lifted him he told me that he hoped he didnít kick me. I hate to ask people for help and I know he probably does too, but he had no choice. In fact, if the park was deserted and no one helped, he wouldnít ride. Why is it so hard to ask for help and why is it difficult to accept help?
Last Sunday I ran during the heat of the day. The only block of time I had available for my run was 1-3pm. Now, normally for a 8-9 mile run I would just go and incorporate a stop at the library or high school and grab a drink from their water fountain. However I was tired from the previous weeks training and I havenít done a lot of running during the heat of the day, so I grabbed my water bottle belt. I also stuffed some bears and beans into the pocket of the belt because I needed all the help I could get. I headed out feeling sort of wimpish running along with all these supplies because I wasnít going that far and Iíve always done it with nothing. Iím learning. Iíve learned that if you start taking in fuel and fluids early you feel pretty good towards the end, even if your legs are tired. This ironman journey has enabled me to see that toughing it out alone isnít always the best way to go. Food, fuel, yes, good stuff, sleep, rest, naps, yep more good and then the biggest help of all is friends. Without friends I would have to tackle all the training long alone.
Which in a round about way brings me back to this whole issue of help, why is it hard to ask for and accept help? For me itís a mix of pride, fear and embarrassment. I want to charge up the mountain alone, not needing anything but myself. That isnít always the best way to conquer the mountain. Funny thing about helping is when I am the one providing the help I feel great. It feels good to help other people. Thatís what Iím going to remember the next time I need help.
ďOne must be poor to know the luxury of giving!Ē - George Eliot