What do you do when things don’t go according to plan?

One month ago, I was in San Francisco, along with 165 other athletes, getting ready to start our 650 ride down the CA coast to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I was up early to catch a flight from CMH to OAK and arrived with several friends. We were excited to be together again, grabbed our bike bags from the luggage area, jumped in the shuttle, and headed to our host hotel in San Francisco. After a short ride across the Bay Bridge, we dropped off our bikes with the mechanic team and headed to Scoma’s for their famous Ciappino. And then, my phone rang. “Kristie, It’s Kevin (lead mechanic) – your frame is cracked, and you cannot ride your bike this week.”
Wait, what?

Believe it or not, I didn’t panic.
I didn’t start calling every bike shop in the greater San Francisco area to try to procure a new bike.
I paused.
I listened.
I told Kevin I’d come back after lunch to take a look.

To be clear, this was my 9th Million Dollar Challenge. Kevin and I have known each other for some time. He’s an exceptional wrench (mechanic), a great leader for his team of mechanics, and always seems to be smiling. I TRUSTED him that we would find a solution so that I would be on a bike in less than 18 hours for the start of our 650-mile journey down the coast.

Sure enough, Southwest Airlines had not been kind to my carbon fiber frame, and there was no way I would be able to ride my bike. As “luck” would have it, Kevin had a few “loaner” bikes on hand (in case of a rider mechanical). He adjusted the fit, swapped my wheels, my saddle – even my “signature red” bottle cages on this loaner. I was immensely grateful.

A few days into our ride, another rider crashed. He was okay, but his bike was totaled. Kevin came to me and said, “I need that loaner bike for him to ride tomorrow until we can get him a different frame when we get to Santa Barbara.” Our Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara day is over 110 miles and includes a 35+ mile section on the 101 freeway (yes, it’s the only way to get there). Late that afternoon, I found myself sitting next to Patty Collins, a pilot for one of the tandem bikes for a visually impaired rider. Patty was trying to find someone to pilot the tandem the next day. She needed to stay at the hotel to wait for a part to be Fed-Exed from Texas to fix their tandem bike. She, too, had found a “loaner” bike from one of the cyclists joining us later in the ride – now she just needed to find a pilot for it.

“I’ll do it. I’ve never done it before, but I’ll do it.”
Patty smiled. “I knew you would.”

Imagine the TRUST that Tina, the blind stoker on the tandem, has in Patty as her pilot. Thousands of hours together. If I were Tina, I would have said, “You want to give me a pilot who has never ridden a tandem on the longest day? No thanks.” But she didn’t. Tina graciously accepted my offer, and another one of the tandems, Aaron and Rocky, agreed to stay with us. I went to my good friend, Jenny, and said, “I need you to come hop on this tandem with me and the parking lot and test it out.” Jenny didn’t ask any questions. She didn’t say, “What? Are you kidding?” She TRUSTED me.Without the crack in my frame, I would never have experienced the joy of piloting the tandem that day. I would never have witnessed the TRUST of so many people. When things don’t go according to plan in your practice, business, and life, how do you react?

With fear?
With panic?
With outrage?

…Or with TRUST.

When we react with trust, incredible things can happen on the other side.

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody
is to trust them.
– Ernest Hemingway

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The best 60-seconds I heard this week.

Julie Piatt to Rich Roll on the beauty of vulnerability and long-term intimacy:

“In that famous race (Ultraman) where I was your crew captain, you were just stripped bare of everything that burdens you, chases you, haunts you, makes you run away from me, from life, from people. You were just raw. In that state, you were a sight of such beauty. I want to know you at that level, and I want to be known at that level…I’m asking for presence; I’m asking you to be courageous enough to sit with me and see me in my presence, even though it scares you.”

Watch the clip here and the full conversation, here.

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