A Mountain Biking Revelation!

Man sitting on mountain bike.

Biking – A metaphor for life!

I am an active relaxer.  I’m not one for watching films, TV or contemplating my navel (much to my husband’s irritation!). I actually work too much if I’m honest but you have to have some vices in life, right?!

I love to be out doing stuff – whether that’s out in the garden, doing jobs about the house or out on my bike. It’s the monotony of the activity that lulls my brain into a quiet and almost meditative state. You can’t worry about tax returns if you are hurtling down a track or chopping up kindling- you’ll lose a finger or some teeth!

This leads me to why I think biking could be a metaphor for life…

I was out on my bike the other day and I was grinding my way up a hill that felt like it would never end.  All of a sudden, a thought popped into my oxygen deprived brain.  Mountain biking is just like life… let me explain.

  1. You just have to keep going…

The hill got steeper and steeper, I dropped down a gear or three and just tried to keep my legs turning. I just wanted to make it to the top without stopping so I got down into my ‘granny’ gear and gritted my teeth. My inner voice was saying helpful things like ‘you should have stayed at home’ and ‘this is bloody awful’ but I decided in was going to do it!

Round and round my feet went and even though I was going bloody slowly, I was still going. The elation when I got to the top was incredible.  I had conquered the hill and my own misgivings about the trail and emerged triumphant (and sweaty!).

Life is like that, right? Sometimes you feel like you are grinding and grinding and all you can do is put your head down and keep going or you’ll fall off. For me, it’s important to never give up even when things are really hard.  Even if you are in granny gear – you are still moving forward!

  1. Holding tighter doesn’t help…

What goes up, generally must come down!  Winding my way down a tricky section of trail I realised that my arms and hands were getting sore and tired.  I was holding onto my handle bars for grim death! I channelled my biking guru and tried to relax my grip and allowed my body to go with the bike. I sailed over the last section of roots and really enjoyed the sense of lightness in my body.

There’s another parallel with my life I thought!  You can hang onto things as hard as you can but all you get is sore arms!  You might as well relax your grip and go with it a bit more or get off the trail completely.  I have been known to be a bit of a control freak so this was a timely reminder that a tighter grip won’t change the trail and just makes it unpleasant! The phrase don’t sweat the small stuff comes to mind here.

  1. Do stuff that scares you…

If we stuck to the same paths and trails it would be become boring and I had another aha! Moment as I peddled my heart out to get back to the car before the rain came down in buckets. Life is great when you get out of the ordinary and do stuff that is scary!

I love to feel the wind in my hair, the feeling of elation as I whizz down a well-earned downhill, the feeling of being alive as my lungs feel like they are going to burst as I try to recover from the steepest uphill to date. All these joyful feelings come from conquering something out of the ordinary.

What will you do to get out of your ordinary today?


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