Riding is definitely something different to everyone. But after going through a rough patch in my life I realise that riding has been so much more to me than a sport. Often it has been the only thing in my week that has made sense. And gave me such a sense of purpose, belonging, accomplishment and freedom. But in reflecting what I have gained from cycling I realise I have learnt some really valuable life lessons from my bike. Thought I’d share a few.
Failure is part of success
Failure is definitely a funny topic. And our relationship with ‘failure” definitely has to shift. We are so quick to let our failures make us feel like they define us, yet it is what we do after that counts. Its easy to not fail if you never stretch yourself. But if you want to grow, (or become a better cyclist), then embrace failure! For every time you fail you have the chance to walk away with a new lesson or skill. Now put that lesson into practice and that where the magic happens! Growth! So next time you fail, get up, have a good laugh, take away the lesson, put it into action and embrace your opportunity for growth!
Something I have learnt to do a lot more in the recent. Why? Because when you embrace “play” as an adult you open yourself up to living in the moment, falling and laughing about it, ( which leads to growth and learning), you embrace things not going to plan as an adventure and most importantly you have fun! After all the purpose in life is to have fun! And so it should be with riding too. When was the last time you were a big kid, laughed so hard you cry, and embraced some adventure in your life?
Don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20
The comparison game. We all do it. All of the time. And its terrible! Most of the time we are comparing someone who is successful and achieving their goals against ourselves when we have only just started. But you didn't see them the first week or first ride. When they failed, cried, didn't finish or fell over. You only see what happens when someone keeps getting up! They are 20 steps ahead of you. And you just started. Be kind to yourself, and celebrate their success. Cause you will get there too.
Just don't compare!
Just don't! It doesn’t achieve anything! We all have our own path. We all come with different strengths and opportunities. We all have our own journey to take. The most successful people I know, embrace their strengths and keep working on their opportunities. They can celebrate the success of others and know it doesn't take away from theirs.
Set goals that light you up, yet scare you a little
This is the hardest lesson to learn. It is so easy to set goals that those around us will be impressed by. But I can guarantee working hard towards a goal that isn’t really yours will basically suck! It won't align with what makes you happy. The journey will feel harder and forced. You will recent the work. But when you can recognise what really lights you up, and set goals around that. Yes they still need to scare you a little. Then that is when the journey and hard work will be an adventure. And the hard moments bearable cause you know it will be worth it. And the accomplishment will be so worth the hard work!
So this year, don't be scared to take a different road to others around you. Chase that idea you have been thinking about. It doesn't matter if you think you can or can't, just go for it! I promise it will be an adventure!