When the road narrows

This is another lesson from the Edgbaston Tunnel, which I first used as a metaphor way back in October 2016.

The rather narrow Edgbaston Tunnel

When I first cycled through the tunnel, I was shocked at how narrow it was – there are literally a few centimetres between your handlebars and the wall on one side and the fence on the other. But then after a few turns of the pedal,  maybe 30 metres or so, it seems to get easier.

This isn’t because you are getting used to the tunnel. No, the path widens by a significant few centimetres about half way through, making the second half of the journey far less hair-raising.

But that doesn’t hold true on the return journey. Then, you enter a seemingly vast space and you cycle along with confidence at good pace, until suddenly there is a narrowing of the path and you lurch into this claustrophobic questioning of will I crash or not… it’s really quite scary.

Sometimes the things we do are like that. We start them. They seem easy at first, but then something happens that we hadn’t expected and it makes us lose our confidence. Maybe we have to stop completely and walk slowly to the end. Maybe we carry on blithely and crash. Or maybe we are lucky enough to stay sweet and straight to the end of the tunnel.

What I’ve found is that with practise you can easily cycle through the Edgbaston Tunnel. And at a good pace too. The trick is that you have to keep looking at your destination – the end of the tunnel. don’t think about the wall, or the fence or the handlebars, or what your feet are doing. Let your body live in the moment and keep looking to the end of the journey. It’s a bit like life really.

#28daysofwriting Day 15

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