The Bikin' Fools



The moment of indecision


I remember as a kid the first time that I jumped off of the ‘high’ cliffs at Whipple Dam. Actually, viewed from this age the ‘cliffs’ are merely large rocks at waters edge. But then they were towering features that triggered the survival instinct in this small boy. I wanted so badly to be able to join the ranks of the big kids who effortlessly leaped with abandon hour after hour.

My fear gradually changed. It didn’t go away, it lessened one day to the point that the "go for it" mode ever-so-lightly tipped the balance. I was able to step through an invisible barrier and take that leap into thin air and the unknown future. The drama was ultra intense for just a brief instant. Suddenly I was under water. I hadn’t even thought about that. Yet I had been there before and swam quickly to the surface close by. A sense of knowing something greater than myself was present in my daring jump.

So much of our lives contain similar drama. We are faced with great leaps of faith at times. Part of the trouble stems from the fact that not all leaps are successful. Some plummet to a grisly end. To make matters worse, if one is never willing to take leaps of any sort, that life is doomed to mediocrity and boredom.

A key to passing through the barrier involves the alchemy of faith, honesty, skill, and luck. In riding a mt. bike and in life one can slowly make small leaps at barriers thought to be insurmountable. Incrementally challenges are overcome and the rider begins the long journey towards being a master in his surroundings. It is a goal worth pursuing. As the skill level rises, the intensity increases and the rider is becomes immersed more and more in a zone that requires unfettered focus on the task. In this state a combination of events are present in the biker. The body is fiercely active, the brain shuts down all thinking that is not directed towards balance, navigation or reacting to emergencies. As a result of this a forced state of meditation occurs. One often becomes aware of the breath. It is hard not to notice especially when in the maximum range. To ride the breath is one of the easiest and most effective ways to depart from the clutter of the rational mind.

There are many ways to escape the confines of average thinking. There are many ways to escape from the reality that enslaves you. No matter the method, it will require a leap. The result will either free you or hurt you.