Everyone that knows me understands that I absolutely love to mountain bike. The more I ride, the more I enjoy it. My first mountain bike was one that my ex-boyfriend in Alaska found in a random snow bank while we were hiking. It was blue and fully rigid meaning zero suspension. This was in 1996 when mountain biking was slowly starting to gain traction. I rode that thing on the trails around the greater Anchorage area, mostly in hopes of not killing myself or plowing into a grizzly bear.
I remember distinctly the first time I went endo (head and body over the handlebars) speeding around a corner then I lost control and scantily missed two large trees. As I was being thrown off the bike, life flashed before me, and I had two choices. 1. Eat shit hard. 2. Tuck and roll. I opted for #2, tucked, rolled, and landed on my feet – somehow by the powers that be. I kindly called my mom after the ride and thanked her profusely for those many years of gymnastics lessons she put me in as a kid. That skill most likely saved my life or many limbs from being broken.
As the years have moved on, technology and my skill level have advanced. Those gymnastic skills and the instinct to tuck and roll have saved me more times than I care to admit. But there is a life lesson here. Sometimes life throws us off balance. It is how we handle the situation that lands us face first or on our feet. Having a go to, such as a skill, routine or friend to go to when things go endo is key.
Mountain biking on trails give you varied terrain depending on where you are riding. Like life, you encounter varied terrain from driving, family, work, travel, etc. Finding balance can be tricky, but having the right skills and diligence can get you through. For instance, rocks and obstacles are a large component of trail riding and can come up at any moment. As in life, an event can knock you off your feet (metaphorically speaking).
Here are 3 ways to find your balance in varied terrain on a bike or life.
Funny enough, this is an extremely simple concept that many people don’t utilize. Taking a breath can alleviate stressors that come up. How many times in crisis do find yourself out of breath? Probably because you didn’t stop and breath in the first place. When I approach an obstacle on a bike, I take a deep breath and visual what I need to do, these skills can be translated to life as well. Breath and visualize where you want to go and what you want to do, not what you don’t want to see or do.
Reassess Your Life Daily
Decisions are not concrete, sometimes we nail it and sometimes we eat shit. None of us can really know how well we are doing with change in our lives unless we are willing to reassess our position. If something is not working, make assessments, and make a new decision or take a different trail. Make time for yourself every day to navigate to your true north.
Be Willing to Take a Risk
If you fall, dust off, get back up and on the trail. Being willing to assess ourselves and take the risk to change will not only enhance our lives, but you will feel more energy and an expanded awareness of what life is all about. Acknowledging that balance is essential and recreating your life to encompass your decision is worth all the risk.
We are constantly in motion pursuing our purpose, achieving our goals, all the while trying to keep in balance the various elements of our lives. If any aspect of our life draws a disproportionate amount of energy, we have to shortchange the other aspects. That can throw us off and we are unable to move forward on the bicycle of life until balance can be reestablished. We have to deal with any areas that are taking too much energy and put them in perspective, align them, so that we have energy available for all areas.
It’s up to us to maintain all the varied aspects of our lives so we have to decide how best to achieve optimal balance.
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Peace be with you this week. Diana
by Diana Proemm, CTRS
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