LIFE LESSONS FROM A BICYCLE Sometimes it’s not a matter of avoiding experiences which could cause us pain but rather of making wiser choices. It took a bail off my mountain bike to remind me of this fact. Today I crashed my beloved mountain bike. I watched in disbelief as my front wheel disconnected from my frame. I knew there was no way out but down. I imagined a plane going down after engine failure with the pilot shouting, in a desperate attempt “mayday, mayday, mayday”. Next thing I knew my left knee and elbow connected with the warm dirt. The sudden searing pain in my elbow spread throughout my body as I hit the rocky ground with a thud. I lay there for a second feeling oddly disconnected from my surroundings. Finally I came back to reality only to realise that there was a crowd standing over me. The pain in my knee was unbearable and exacerbated by the ice cold water thrown over it by my best friend. I winced as she helped me up and wanted to scream but instead we both laughed hysterically. As we walked back to the car we laughed about how next time I might check that my front skewer was tightened before we rode. My crash was not unlike events in our lives. Much as we may try we cannot control every event in our lives and each and every one of us is bound to experience pain at some point. We do, however, have a choice as to how we use these painful experiences. We may say “I’ll never ride again” and so whilst we don’t experience pain we also block out the joyful experiences that riding provides. Or we could say “okay I love riding and being outdoors with my friends but I’m going to check my bike before I ride each time. And so it is in our lives; we do end up hurting in our relationships or through experiences we have in the world but the key is to ask “what is there for me to experience or learn in this situation?” Sometimes it’s just a matter of experiencing, not necessarily learning, to know what we do want as opposed to what we don’t want. In this way we are still open to wonderful experiences but we make wiser choices. This allows us to enjoy more ‘riding’ time and less time lying on the ground licking our wounds. And so I leave you with one thought; “happy riding!” Contributor: Lisa Steingold Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.