What I learned from motocross

12 November 2015

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Every once in a while business advice appears in the most unexpected places. For me recently, it was on the dirt bike track.

It was my first time trying the sport (something I've wanted to do for years!), so needless to say, I was a tad nervous.

The beginner track had a few hills, lumps and tricky turns. But for me, the most challenging part was a flat section that had several ruts and indentations from being ridden over so many times. I kept trying to align my front and back tires perfectly and I was afraid of riding off to the side, on the grass (duh, just because it's a dirt bike, that doesn't mean you have to stay on the dirt).

I therefore kept losing my balance and having little spin out, freak out moments. I managed to stay upright and moving, but I wasn't taking the cleanest lines.

After doing the loop this way about 10 times, I decided to finally change tactics. It was time to employ the "don't look, just gun it" approach. So the next time around, I did just that. I looked off into the distance, squeezed that throttle like a giddy girl, and lo and behold ... I  flew threw that patch without a single wobble.

I was ecstatic! I would have fist pumped, but you know, I needed both hands on the handlebars.

With this new sense of accomplishment and excitement, I was able to enjoy the rest of my time out on the course with a new sense of confidence and courage.

On the long drive home I kept thinking about it. That one little patch of ruts and trenches taught me a few things about business and life in general:

  1. Keep your head up. No matter how frustrated or confused you feel, you can only see the sunshine and the stars with your eyes up. Horse riders and mountain bikers know this best ... the horse or bike beneath you will go where your eyes are. If you look down, that's where you'll end up.
  2. Gaze forward. Don't stress over the little obstacles right beneath your feet. Focus on what lies ahead and before you know it, you'll be over those little lumps (even if they seem like insurmountable mountains at the time).
  3. Try a new approach. If something is not working over and over again, come at it from a new angle or with a new set of tactics.
  4. Don't feel like you always have to stick to the course. I'm not sure why I was so afraid of riding on the grass to the side. It's a dirt bike after all. It's meant to go over all sorts of terrain. My limited thinking was making me tense and inflexible.

I'm afraid I've become slightly addicted to the sport already, so I'll be back for the more challenging course.

 

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