In June last year, I made my way to Tucson, AZ. My goal and adventure was simple. I was to mount my 2005 Honda CRF450 and ride 100 miles of the desert trails with a good friend of mine.
There’s just one thing… I haven’t been on a dirt bike, motorcycle, or any other 2 wheeled machine since I was 19- almost 8 years ago. The only experience I had prior to that was some amateur (novice really) riding at some tracks and trails in SD… nothing like the rocky, cactus filled, lizard lurking trails I had committed to. Oh yeah, and the bikes I had were only half the power and weighed a lot less. Who do I think I am?
Key word in all that being commit. I made up my mind a couple months ago that I was going to do this… not only a weekend trail ride, but the Palmdale, CA to Las Vegas ride in November (2 days, 400 plus miles, across the desert). So… this 100 mile ride was to be nothing short of easy and a light morning’s work for what is to come.
Long story short for sake of this- landed, jumped on the bike, and felt the power rush that comes with 2 months of anticipation and the shear ponies this 260 lb. machine had between my legs… It wasn’t but 2 minutes on this bike and my mind went to the place you may be well aware of- I call it the commitment zone.
You’re familiar with it- the zone in which your brain goes as it realizes what it has committed to… like when you first get home from picking up your puppy and it pees and yelps (did I really want this?) or the night before your wedding (butterflies and all- is this what I’m ready for?) Any number of situations come to mind, but the feeling is always the same… a deer in headlights wondering “what have I done and got myself into?”
Mentally, I was scared.
I don’t know what calmed me, maybe the familiarity of riding some easy ground or just feeling confident that I had committed and was going to get this done. Either way, the same stayed true- commitment. I made sure I would follow through on this. I didn’t have just me to hold up for, I also had a friend I was accountable to.
Okay, okay- to the age old tale of the mountain… You’ve heard it before in some form or another: “You can’t climb a mountain all at once, you need to take one step at a time, and climb, before you know it- you made it.” “Head down, one step.” “Know where you want to go, take a step and nose to the ground.”
We were 30 minutes or so into the ride, I started to think that this would be easier than I had thought… until we were at the top of a fairly steep drop and technical spot that required balance, proper technique, and the right line.
I looked down and used the age old tale in reverse. The bottom won’t be reached with just one flick of the wrist and one shortcut… one rock, one line, one go… one rock, one line, one go.
Focused, sweaty, and shoulders torn with tension, I made it down. I looked back and up at what I had conquered- big in my head, fairly tall, but not really something someone would write home about. To me, it was a small victory in a big way because the lesson would prove to help me finish a hard day of riding.
The same is true in our daily world of business, family, relationships, parenting…
In anything enjoyable or worth the energy your soul gives, the timeless tale of the mountain is true. One thing, one time, one step forward.
Perspectives often can shift negative and fear makes us back out or quit (in some cases, when the risk isn’t worth the reward, quitting is okay), choosing to see the opportunity and the positive is what sets the special ones apart from the critics.
**Below is a picture of us after 112 miles going up the back of Mt. Lemmon and doing a trail called Three Feathers.