"Pressure makes diamonds."
~General George S. Patton
The rain was coming down sideways, in virtual sheets. My husband and I looked at each other and I asked: “Are we really going to ride our bikes in this?” “Oh I doubt it,” he assured me. It was Day 1, Hour 1 of our 5 day biking tour through the hills of the Loire Valley in France.
We were novice bikers but our friends and fellow riders assured us that we would be “just fine.” Yes, we had done some training but not on hills (we live in farm country) and NEVER in the rain. No, it just never occurred to us that it could be, or would be, raining cats and dogs!
Our tour leader-guides, Anna and Stephanie, never stopped their cheery disposition and reminded us that the French countryside was beautiful, there would be wine and/or croissants along the way and “we’d be so proud of ourselves” when we completed the tough ride. They must have taken a play out of the EQ play book that says the leader’s emotions are contagious. They refused to show any hesitation or doubt that our journey in the rain would be worth it.
As we watched in disbelief, each of our fellow riders mounted their bikes. Darn.
But Marty and I had our pride. We refused to be the only two people to ride in the van to our next stop. No, we would go. We climbed on our bikes and started to ride. With the rain coming down, we road all of our 20 miles, up and down hills and valleys, through small country towns and roads lined with vineyards. All in the non-stop driving rain.
And I hate to admit it, it was a memorable day. We were proud of ourselves for completing the ride. We enjoyed the scenery and spent the day riding with some new friends. In this case, peer pressure worked. Pushing us to achieve more than we ever imagined. We rode for two more days in the rain and peer pressure again encouraged us to complete a ride of 50 miles on Day 4.
I know I’m describing a circumstance that pales in significance to many of the challenges that we face. Succumbing to peer-pressure is not cool. But think back on a time when your peers encouraged you to do or accomplish something outside of your comfort zone. To solve a problem, to stay the course when you wanted to give up. Sometimes, a little peer pressure can make all the difference.
To your success,