Welcome to Part 2 of my Compelling Blog series where the featured letters are D, E and F with the phrase of: Don’t Encourage Faceplants.
Part 1 began with A, B, C: Action, Bold and Creativity.
Here’s an excerpt from a speech I gave on Jan. 29, 2019 at my Toastmaster club’s International Speech contest.
“In these troubling and turbulent times my serious and solemn advice for you is: Don’t encourage faceplants!
Why, might you ask, am I focusing on faceplants? Well for one, faceplants are not fun. In fact, they can be quite humiliating and are often times very painful.
Thus, they should be avoided at all costs!
How do I know this?
Well after 25 years of mountain biking, I’ve taken a tumble or two and lived to tell the tale.
I also believe that many important life lessons can be learned while mountain biking.
I experienced one of these painful lessons many years ago while biking in the mountains of southern California. The Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is a beautiful area and I was enjoying the warm, sunny weather. As a young and inexperienced rider, I was struggling to keep up with the older more skilled cyclists in my group and I fell behind and started to tire. The trail had many climbs, stunning views and numerous fun and swooping descents. But after many miles, I started to lose my confidence in my technical skills. My speed decreased and I lost some of my nerve. And then I came across a new and scary part of the trail- a long, extended rocky stretch. There were big rocks, small rocks and everything in between. My experienced husband glided over the section with ease but at the first sight of the rocks, I seized up inside and slowed to a near stand still. I was pedaling so slowly that my front wheel wedged between two of the larger rocks and I endo-ed onto a huge, flat boulder to my right. I face-planted on my cheek and it cracked. There was a flash of blinding white light and I knew that my ride was over for the day.”
Here are my 3 Tips for a better, smoother ride:
- Don’t let fear, uncertainty or hesitation cause you to stumble or fall. Once you decide to go, commit with confidence and don’t look back.
- Momentum is your friend. Keep your speed up and you will have an easier time of rolling over rocks, obstacles and barriers.
- Keep your eyes ahead on the trail. Focus on where you want to go. Don’t focus on where you don’t want to go. Distractions can be detrimental.
In life, not all the paths we take are smooth, flat and easy. Sometimes the downhills are treacherous and frightening with obstacles and sudden drops offs. Sometimes, the ascents are steep and seem to last forever. Remember to keep moving with your eyes focused on where you want to go and you will dramatically increase your chances of getting there unscathed.
It is my hope that this turbulent tale from the trail can help you remember these tips for a better, smoother ride no matter where the path of life takes you.