How boring life would be if our entire existence, the road ahead, were known to us the minute we were born, or the moment we got onto our bike. Going off course is inevitable – the discomfort that comes along with that is often our best teacher. Rather than punish ourselves for going off course we would be better served by accepting that as part of life, part of the ride, learn what we can from the experience and use it to our and our community’s benefit moving forward.
Once we decide to move forward in life we need to accept that not everything will go as planned. It is impossible to anticipate every directional change our lives will take, no matter how well planned we believe our lives are. Comparing ourselves to others is not helpful; we have no idea what challenges others have faced and how they responded in order to know what they know.
As cyclists we are lucky. We have the opportunity to train and prepare for the specific event we choose to participate in; life does not offer that. Life is constant on the job training – so oftentimes we believe we got it wrong because we make an error in judgement, commission or omission. To then continually punishing ourselves for having made an error is to detract from the opportunity we created – to learn something and to improve.
To use the past as our map for what we will do or what we can accomplish in the future is a limiting belief; it is not truth. It is important to accept that the road is not flat and straight but rather it is lumpy, filled with blind turns, fast descents and challenging climbs. How we decide to navigate the terrain is really up to us. There is one truth – if we don’t get on the road we won’t move forward.
Trust yourself, accept that the road will not be easy, believe in the training we call life and be grateful for all the learning experiences that come your way. Please don’t judge yourself harshly, it isn’t helpful to your well being and will not allow you to move forward and continue learning.
Don’t trade your humanity for privilege (a paraphrase from the book “Radical Dharma”.