Thursday, January 8, 2015

Adventures of the First Lady- The First 48

The first 48 seems to be pivotal in many areas of life, this time it will be the first two days of my new job: Shop Manager at Decorah Bicycles.

Perhaps this title of mine is made up simply so we have something to call me other than “Josie of All Trades” however; there will be “office manager” stuff that I shall be involved with. So it’s not made up. I’ll also bet that it’s the most official title I’ve ever had, besides the self-designated “First Lady of Decorah Bicycles.” I looked at it from the standpoint that I would have a hard time getting people to take me seriously if I used that. You are still welcome to call me First Lady, tho!

There is a lot I could insert here in terms of why it took so long for me to make a leap, but one day I decided that my body simply needed a break. Repetitive motion injuries with my arm were not improving and I found that I was becoming a bit depressed.


My continual popping of Excedrin and Advil were not helping matters much at all. My ideas kept nagging me in my head and heart- what was I afraid of? Change? The Unknown? Everything? Leaving a job I knew like the back of my hand to be thrown into something completely new?

Yup. All of it.
Passion moved me forward.

I woke up on Sunday with butterflies in my stomach. We had our standard Sunday breakfast of biscuits, eggs, and bacon. The food and coffee tasted good and filled my belly up with some sustenance. It was the first Sunday in a long while where I didn’t have to get ready to go to work at 10:30 a.m.- our original Sunday schedule was back in action where we could leave more at 11:45 a.m. It was leisurely and had been so missed.

Now I would ride to work on a different route and on some days, ride to work with Travis.
Entering the shop gave me a sense of hope complete with nerves. Here I was. Ready to conquer the world of the unknown and massively new. When asked “What would you like to learn?” I had probably a million thoughts swirl in my head. That wouldn’t help!

The one good thing about Sunday is that it is a short day- 4 hours where potential customers could walk in, afterwards, hours of learning even more.
I deduced after several hours of trying to listen and absorb, that having a notepad to take notes would be more ideal. That way I could go back and look at notes rather than having to ask every single question over again 5 thousand times.

Later in the day I was given the task of putting a tube and tire on a rim. It was a small-sized rim/tire which would prove to be very challenging. More pressure was needed to push it onto the rim. I struggled with the tire removal and replacing. I felt a little emotional in that moment- feeling as tho it would take me years to get strength back into my arm and hand.

At the end of our day, my brain was tired but I felt a sense of relief. I survived the first day, we survived it together. I really don’t feel the word “survive” is appropriate, but either way- it ended well. I slept soundly.

Monday came and we had decided I could try out my tentative schedule of coming in at noon (or close to.) I was able to have some much-needed time in the morning to work on my blog items as well as get a trainer ride in. I was feeling a bit under the weather, and my trainer ride lasted for 6 miles before I felt too wobbly to go on. (Getting a cold or some other physical calamity always happens when you take vacation time, so it seems…and then starting a new job? What else could be more fun!?)
I made my way to work and arrived before the clock struck noon. (Cinderella?)

My second day at work I had come up with about 5 things I wanted to go over/learn. We worked at each of those. Learning was low-key and I was able to take breaks to run upstairs and check my email, update the computer, etc. Nothing like a wasabi macadamia nut break to make a person feel whole again.

I found that I enjoyed putting fatbike tires on rims. Why? Well they are (overall) in comparison to the small tire I wrestled with the day prior, much easier for me to maneuver. Then I got to learn about tire tread. Learning when to have the back tire facing forward or backward and why.

Then we took time to check in inventory that was coming in from QBP- Travis has taken to checking items in the day/night before so when it comes in the next day it's all accounted for. I found myself fumbling with the system a bit. Nothing that repetition won't cure.

After hours we took time to have an extensive lesson over the cycling shoes. I had my very first customer interaction to which she was looking for a pair of cycling shoes for spin class. That is going to be a common question- typically people seek out healthful resolutions for the new year- (indoor cycling, yoga, pilates, etc.) I wanted to have a good idea about the products we have so I could potentially do a better job with helping.
Then we had a lesson on the various helmets. Not that it's something that will be bought now, but they were right next to the shoes and it seemed to make sense.

I'm slowly embracing the change that this transition will bring to my life. I appreciate that I'm able to learn during the slower season-which gives me hope that I'll be ready enough by the time March hits to actually be able to feel more confident. A complete leap of faith and being open to change is something that doesn't come easily to me- but here I am. I'm doing it!

On an additional positive note, I had a massage (1/6) and my therapist had asked me if I had noticed any difference in my arm/shoulder/wrist with my days off from the Co-Op. I had been taking Advil Sinus Congestion, but no other painkillers. I noticed that I was less achy. She noticed my shoulder felt less inflamed- and expressed her happiness over my transition and how good this will likely be for my body. Not only to reduce my pain, but also strengthen my left side (arm/shoulder/hand) as well.

The downside? I had been having some pain in my thighs/hips/butt. Apparently my body is not used to walking around so much! I have muscle soreness due to my being able to move around freely, go up/downstairs, and just MOVE! I had to laugh. Yup. Change is good!


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