I never envisioned myself riding, let alone owning, a motorcycle. It has proven to be something I really enjoy doing with Bob. I’ve learned a lot while on the back of the bike. These are 4 things I needed to learn about life. These 4 things not only help me with the stress and challenges life brings, they are also good things to remember while on the back of a bike.
- Relax and enjoy the ride.
Yes, it’s cliché, but that’s the thing about clichés, they are often true. Life can be stressful, and well, hard at times. It seems to me that if I can stay calm and relaxed the things that stress me out don’t seem to bother me as much. I’ve learned that the act of worrying itself does not stop the bad thing from happening or prepare me for it anymore than if I don’t worry. So I choose to relax. I am far from perfect and have to constantly remind myself of this, but if I can do it, it does help.
It’s the same when I’m riding. If I am tense or anxious the ride isn’t as good. When I was a brand new rider I stressed over certain turns, situations, and road conditions. I would work myself up with fear about what would happen. Instead if I just leaned into it, and let it happen, it was like the bike knew where I was trying to take it. Instead of forcing it, I just relax and enjoy where it takes me.
- Don’t hang on too tight.
What is it they say about squeezing sand? The tighter you squeeze the more it slips away? Staying loose and flexible on the back of the bike is the most enjoyable way to ride…and live life. When you have a death grip on the handlebars you’re more likely to over correct, and crash and burn. Same thing in life- ease up a little. Don’t hang on so tight to the things you think are important. If they really are that important you won’t have to hang on to them at all.
- Focus on the journey, not the destination.
When Bob and I make “plans” to ride it goes a little something like this:
Bob: Wanna ride today?
Me: Sure. Do we have a destination?
It’s never about where we are going. Life shouldn’t be either. Cause where we’re all going, if we get right down to brass tacks, is death. I’m in no hurry to get there. I wanna take in a all the feelings, smells, tastes, and other experiences along the way. The journey is what life IS! Don’t get so focused on where you are going that you lose sight of where you are.
- You’ll get hit by a few rocks and bugs, they sting, but don’t let that stop you.
When I ride I hate getting hit in the face by bugs, even small ones sting, and rocks fly up from other cars on the road. As much as I try to protect myself it is impossible to prevent them from hitting me. When a bug does hit me, I can’t waiver. I have to keep my eyes on the road ahead, stay steady and straight with my steering, and keep right on going. This is the exact same thing to do when life’s lumps get to you. You take ’em, you stay steady and strong, and you keep going, you have to -just like on the bike- the alternative isn’t something I want to experience