February 3, 2016
Finding Your Niche
No matter what type of routine or process we establish in our personal lives, we always like to customize it, to personalize it. People refer to this as finding your niche. Finding your niche is when we are in the zone and whatever it is that we are doing almost feels effortless. When we find our niche in anything in life, we become more confident, more passionate, and more purposeful.
Rowheeling is a perfect example of finding your niche that I have personally experienced. So far in my two months of using Rowheels, I have explored the variety of ways to use these revolutionary new wheels. I have attempted to use the “rowing” motion full-time in which I immediately noticed how weak my back muscles were, but quickly saw how fast I could strengthen them as well. Exclusively using the rowing motion challenged my 30-years of muscle memory as I anticipated, however, as I have shared with you, as long as you continue to remind yourself of ALL of the benefits Rowheels provides you, the learning curve can be a quick one.
Knowing that you can just “push” on the wheels and remembering that the rims are what controls propulsion gave me peace of mind, but also allowed me to revert back to simply pushing on some days. Again, it is a great option, but I did not want to fall back into my old habits because that is where the wear and tear on my shoulders and posture issues have developed from over the years. Still, I find it fascinating how we revert to our old ways and comfort zones, and while some of our comfort zones benefit us and serve us, pushing the traditional way exclusively is one of those comfort zones that I and so many of my extended brothers and sisters who use wheelchairs, must break through.
Over the years, so many people I have presented to and personally coached have agreed that they have both comfort zones that are serving them and comfort zones that are not serving them. Identifying the issue is such a critical component to facilitating change, but the real game-changer is when we create massive amounts of action to facilitate that change. I have always subscribed to the theory that it takes 21 days straight to form a habit, a good one or a bad one. If you know that the bad habit you are changing will result in a much more positive habit, then you have the momentum needed to change. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is going to happen overnight. It can, but it is not guaranteed. With my Rowheeling journey, it was almost immediate because I constantly reminded myself of ALL of the health benefits that Rowheels provide in enhance my quality of life. When describing this change, I compare it to adopting a new and proven exercise program, eating healthier, etc.
Currently, I have found my niche Rowheeling. I coined the phrase, Rowheeling, when I first learned that Rowheels offered its users the opportunity to “row” and “push.” It is that combination that has allowed me to create my own niche using these wheels. Today I can get great momentum and traction “rowing” which if you visualize, brings my hands all the way to the back of my wheels. Rather than taking my hands off the rims and bringing my hands back to the front for the next rowing motion, while my hands are way in the back, I take them off the rim, and get a great “push” forward on the tire. Then, when my hands have gotten a full “push” on the tire, leaving them towards the front of the tires, then I am ready to “row” again. This niche, or personal preference, has allowed me to maximize the Rowheeling experience in such a short period of time.
Friends, when you first learned how to do a transfer out of the bed into a wheelchair, you were taught how to do it a certain way. Are you still doing it that way or have you found your niche doing it a better way for you? After your accident, injury, trauma, or illness, you were probably taught how to dress yourself. Are you still dressing yourself that same way or have you developed your own niche that makes it easier for you? There are so many examples of finding our niches in life, and propelling a wheelchair is no different.
And the Rowheeling journey continues…onward!