Just putting on the protective gear alone was a new found exhaustion! I’d never ridden a dirt bike. So when my friend Steve mentioned he’d be going last Sunday, I opted in. I was excited. At 40, I’m trying to be a bit more adventurous and man-up. I have no idea why — perhaps it’s phase two of my mid-life crisis.
Lucky for me, I had learned how to drive a stick shift back when I was 16 years old. That particular knowledge is crucial if you’re going to get anywhere on a dirt bike. I took off right away. It was pretty easy. But I didn’t dare gain a false sense of security and couple with it with my usual “I got this” tagline. The trails were intimidating. The dirt bike was a heavy. And I kept cringing at the thought of falling. So — I listened to everything Steve and his son Michael told me to do.
To the average person — looking on from a distance — I probably appeared as normal rider. Up close — I was certain that my level of disaster was nearing 1o. I’m sure I looked like something out of a cartoon as I tried to shift, give the bike gas, adjust my helmet, lean into a turn, look for the back brake lever, etc. And my internal fuel tank was slowly depleting. It takes a lot of work to ride a dirt bike.
In my mind, I just kept saying “take it slow” or “you can handle this.” I also factor in the insight Steve and Michael shared. For example; when you encounter sand — sit farther back on your seat to give weight to the rear of the bike. It will keep it from sliding.
I jokingly told Michael that I was not about to venture up what looked like a very treacherous hill. Five minutes later, I was sitting up there with a stalled dirt bike. Sometimes you have no idea where you are headed on a trail. So with a stalled dirt bike, I decide to reflect and do some meditation. Here’s what I learned:
- When looking down at the trails and up at the skyline — I was pretty small somewhere in the middle of it all. And my problems really weren’t that big, either. Who knew a dirt bike could right size my attitude?
- When I listen to others and take their advice — the ride in life is a little smoother. I’m speaking both metaphorically and literally in this case.
- I appreciate not knowing everything. It keeps life exciting. And I have the ability to learn more daily.
- Sometimes it’s ok to pause for a moment before making the next move. Getting back down that mountain was much easier with the eventual coaching of Steve & Michael.
- I’m a lot more successful when I encourage and cheer myself on through new adventures and challenges.
After two hours of riding, we packed it up for the day. I was sitting in the back of Steve’s truck — full of sweat — thinking of how sore I’d be the next day. And I was!! Later on that evening, I went to church over at The Crossing. A new series titled “Me, My #Selfie & I” kicked off. It’s all about pride.
Fortunately the dirt bike riding was a good lesson and reminder to rely on something other than myself in life. It’s ok to need God. It’s ok to need friends. It’s ok to take advice from others. And it’s ok to have all the information before making the next move.
Thank you Steve & Michael for a fun Sunday!! You guys are the best. And I love that “manning-up” is both a dirt bike ride and life awareness combined.