One of the funnest things I’ve done on this journey so far is to ride my mountain bike. In August of 2011, Lainey and I had some money set back for our anniversary. We thought we’d use it for travel but in the end, we decided to take the money and invest in a couple of nice bikes. Before launching on this journey, we got the necessary “set up” to take our bikes with us.
In hindsight, both of these were great decisions.
I love riding that bike! And even though probably half the riding so far has been way beyond my skill level (meaning I’m terrified about half the time!) it’s been thrilling to be on the bike in some of the beautiful places we’ve been. I love to snow ski and riding that bike on a great trail is probably about the closest I’ve come to capturing the skiing experience. The speed, the thrill, the workout, the terror of impending doom and destruction at any moment…all rival my experience on the slopes.
On a recent ride on the Big Chief Loop in Dead Horse Point State Park some lessons on life began to float up into my consciousness when I wasn’t concentrating on staying upright on the bike. When I first wrote all this out it was way too long for just one post. So I’ve divided them up. One each day…for the week. So here’s Number 1.
1. Pick a line and commit. Just like a ski run, a bike trail has several “lines” or pathways through it. Should you go over that massive rock or around it? How should you navigate that tree root or low-hanging branch or creek or that loose sand? All these represent split-second decisions that have to be made on the fly.
I’m certainly no expert but I have learned this…in order to succeed you must pick your line and then commit to it. Don’t let the trail dictate to you what you will or won’t do. Make your decision and boldly go for it. Hesitation leads to failure. Worse yet, if you hesitate you can get yourself hurt. Once you make your choice, you’re committed. The very best way through is…well…through.
So often we get started and when things get tough we take that as an opportunity to slow down, second guess, lose confidence and give up. Sadly, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. “I knew it wouldn’t work” becomes the excuse when in reality you really didn’t give it your best shot in the first place. You gave up too soon. So be alert. Pick your line. And commit to going forward.
Vision is such an important element in a successful ride. If you take one of the trails that we’ve taken while on this journey there is so much to look at. But where should your eyes be? Where should they be focused?
A subject for next time!
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