I went on a wee little mountain bike jaunt the other day. I am no master at the sport, in fact I am quite the novice. My first ride I actually went and took my bike up to the top of the Snowbasin gondola. I thought it would be easier if I only had to go downhill. I was quite wrong. I got on my bike, and started pedaling, within 500 feet I ate it. Hard too. Well to make the story short, I did make it to the bottom, I simply took my bike for a walk down it. I was so afraid that after my 5th or 6th crash I was done. I looked like I had been beaten by a biker gang. But no… the mountain won that day.
Flash forward two years and I am back on the bike, this time cruising with my sister. I haven’t fallen yet so I of course have gathered some undeserved confidence. We are on the bonneville shoreline trail and are about to cross a bridge with a wee drop off on the other side. My sister cruises over it with ease and I follow. That’s when it hits, the big F word. FEAR. I go over the bridge and as I hit the drop off I clamp down on my breaks. I hit the dirt and the front tire does not move, shooting me over the handlebars. I made a rather impressive superman.
With a bruised abdomen, arms, chest, and face I learned quite a bit about obstacles. It doesn’t matter the obstacle, only your reaction to it. If I had chosen to pedal through it and go forward in confidence then Superman would have been kept at bay. Most of the struggle and the pain of my ride was brought on myself. I let the fear of something bad happening become a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are no promises if you brake it does not mean you will be safe... as I learned rather brutally. You don’t know what obstacles will be placed in your way but you can choose to clamp the brakes in fear or take the obstacle on probably still with a bit of fear. Or even, get off and enjoy taking your bike for a walk until you can muster the gumption to face the hard.