Guest Blog: Brave Tutu's Spin

My heart pounded. Sweat puddled on my arms. My legs were Jell-O. No, I wasn’t in a horror movie. Close. Spinning class. I’ll level with you….whatever you have heard about cycling classes, it’s true. Yes, you might feel like you are going to die. Yes, it’s hard; it can be a pain in the…you know. Yes, you can leave feeling euphoric. No, it doesn’t necessarily get easier, as each level you reach is meant to challenge in a new way. You’re welcome for the life metaphors. My semi-wisdom is nothing compared to one of my favorite instructors. Becca speaks encouragement when I can barely breathe—much less talk. She paces us and reminds, “This is your class. No one knows how hard you are working but you. Make it yours. Push yourself to YOUR next level.” About a week ago, when my legs wanted to quit, Becca provided one of those unforgettable Brave Tutu moments: “Until you push yourself to a place where you could fail, you won’t know what you are capable of achieving.” True. Put her words on a doctor’s office poster with an eagle and call it a day. Becca’s call to action resonates. Nothing that really pushes me ever feels “easy”. Writing, exercising, living authentically…these pieces can feel natural—like a runner’s stride. But reaching any “peak of pace” is never attained via complacency. I’m reminded of the triumphs I’ve attained and failures I’ve faced. I wouldn’t have reached the view I have now without proverbial Jell-O legs and bloodied knuckles. Especially in the writing life. My words reached higher levels when I launched them off my screen: shared them with readers, friends, critique and professionals. On the regular, my talent faces failure in the quest to thrive. I still have so far to go. *sigh* That unprotected “soar” towards success IS vulnerable flight. One moment, I think “I’ve got this” and the next I can get a pass on a manuscript. Drop. Face plant. In writing, dating, and living, crashes can be dark caves with necessary clawing. There is no way around it. Only out. Up. Onward. However, recently, I’ve had “yes”s from professionals that love my work and want to see it thrive. The “soar” of them championing my words could only come from putting myself out there. That rise and risk of pushing towards something uncertain is a testament of personal capacity and strength. Is there anything more “alive”? When have you faced failure and gained strength in discovery? I’d love to hear your experiences; I know you are courageous! p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Calibri} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none; color: #0070c0}


Rebekah Manley learned to swim at Austin’s downtown Y. She’s been a member and an instructor at Ys across the country and is happy to be home to Texas. Rebekah writes for all ages with a special emphasis on picture books and projects for teens. Rebekah is the Coordinator for the Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission; under the Library of Congress. In Rebekah’s website, Brave Tutu, she hopes readers will “take courage in delight and discover power in small moments.” Feel free to stay connected with her on, Twitter: @WriterRebekah Instagram: YourBraveTutu or Facebook. This essay was originally published on Brave Tutu.

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