After putting on full body armor and getting on a bike that resembles something from a Sci-Fi movie, he took off out of the starting gate. My 16 year old son, Tommy, takes off attacking the track, flying through the air, going over boulders and around turns like they don’t even exist. He is FEARLESS and does it EFFORTLESSLY. This past weekend I took Tommy to race his downhill mountain bike at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey. It is a huge biking event attended by over 60,000 people from around the world. It is pretty amazing to see all of those biking enthusiasts and vendors in one place.
Downhill mountain biking for those of you who have not done it before is gnarly to say the least. I have done it a couple of times with Tommy up in Tahoe, but when I did it, unlike Tommy, I was everything but fearless and effortless. I squeezed the hand grips like I was trying to strangle them and the only thing that was going through my head was my mortality. “Just don’t crash.” Fortunately, with the exception of a few sore muscles and minor crashes, I am happy to say I have not experienced any major wipe outs or broken bones downhilling. The funny thing is my son very rarely ever crashes. And when he does, he brushes himself off, gets right back on the bike and lets it rip again.
So what is the lesson of this extreme sport? Attack whatever you do with Passion, Fearlessly and Effortlessly. If you do, you will do better, go faster, suffer fewer setbacks and reach your full potential. When we are young our lives are all about growing and going for it. It is all about new unfamiliar experiences. Every day you wake up as a kid you are being pushed and encouraged by your parents, teachers, coaches and mentors to go for it. However, at some point in life, society puts the brakes on all of this growing and going for it. It plants the “play it safe, don’t go for it, what if you can’t” in our brains. All too often as we get older we let our fears and caution hold us back from CRUSHING IT! Unlike a kid we get too worried about what happens if things don’t work out instead of focusing on what will happen if they do.
As we know, what we focus on expands. So if we hold back and worry about what will happen if things don’t work out, we will experience major wipe outs and broken bones. On the other hand if we attack with fearlessness and do it effortlessly, we will fly and CRUSH IT! The million dollar question is how do we do go back to having the mindset of a kid? How do we go back to being FEARLESS? Start with spending more time with kids and with people who go against the status quo. Spend time with risk takers, people that go for it and attack life. Remember we are the average of the people we spend the majority of our time with. Be aware of who you are spending your time with. Make it a great week as you attack the downhill mountain biking tracks of your life.