Hopefully you remember my good buddy Andrew Joyner (here’s his podcast if you don’t). Andrew is amazing at all things outdoors, and one of his talents is mountain biking. I had a trip to Whistler, Canada coming up, and so I consulted the best mountain biker I know (Andrew). He made it very clear that I needed to bike (meanwhile, there’s a biking competition happening in Whistler). And thus, I figured, I’m okay at trail biking…I’ll be totally fine.
If you couldn’t tell from my name (High-Clip), I can be a bit skittish at times. To say the least, I freaked out a bit pedaling up and down steep, exposed cliffs while my guide cruised through each sharp turn and slick rock. Anyway, I got tired of walking my bike up and down frightening hills (and internally crying and mildly hyperventilating). So naturally, I soaked up all that I could from my guide, and I took away a hugely valuable insight:
You have to let go of the brakes and trust yourself when you’re overcoming an obstacle.
I’m sure Andrew, or any biker, could have told me that, but the idea of letting go of the brakes, even when you’re scared, seemed outrageous to me. And trusting yourself??? What is this?? Lead climbing advice??? OUT-RAGE-UOS.
If you can’t see it, let me paint you a picture:
You’re on an exposed cliff. You’re on a snazzy mountain bike, though it’s a little too big for you. Below, there’s jagged rocks leading down to a turquoise lake. Ahead, the rocky path winds quickly downhill, with mini ravines traversing like snakes. You can feel your heart beating in your ears, and you can hear its tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump imitating your inevitable tumble down the mountain when you skid off of the edge. Alas, perhaps for your ego or for the endorphin rush, you leave the safety of the peak of the hill and begin your roll down the path, tracking every feature in relation to your front tire. You release your over-tight grip of the brakes and as your fingers uncramp…
Do you trust yourself and ride? Are you feathering the brakes as you go down? Are you skidding left and right? Did you throw your bike off the mountain?
Finish your story and let us know how it ends! If you need some biking motivation, be sure to remind yourself of my past words about bikes (definitely no metaphor there…) in my old poem.
As we embark on this new year, will you trust your 20/20 vision and release your brakes?