It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negatives ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.
I grew up on a Schwinn stingray bike. It was my pride and joy. We would set up crates that were used to reclaim and recycle soft drink bottles and lay a small piece of plywood on top and turn that into a ramp so that we could ride down the hill and hit the ramp and start our journey flying through the air.
When you would hit the ramp you hoped the plywood and the bottle crate would stay aligned and not fall apart so that you could get airborne for two seconds of pure bliss. If you got 6 inches to a foot off the ground and flew for maybe 2 feet it was absolutely amazing😍
As I hit adolescence, this evolved into motorcycles and my friend Mel and I would convince our parents to take us anywhere out into the desert to basically do the same thing over bigger jumps. NBC owned a big lot of land in Woodland Hills and we would go out onto the property and build our motocross track. There wasn’t a day that we weren’t getting circled by police helicopters and told to leave the property, but we would come back every day and do it again.
The flights through the air were longer, higher and more exhilarating. They were of course, much more dangerous. Most of the times you make it and every once in a while you would take a pretty good fall.
One time, I took off riding by myself and found a place on the dirt road of Mulholland Drive where they were building new homes and they had created plateaus on which the homes would be built.
So if you got a speed of 30 or 40 mph and you hit the incline leading to a plateau you could fly for 30 feet or greater and be at least 2-4 feet up into the air.
And of course, one time it did not work. I had become too confident and I had tried to fly higher than I had flown before and I pulled too hard on the handle bar and looped the motorcycle😫 The motorcycle came out from underneath me and I landed on my back out in the middle of nowhere with no one to call (and of course there are no such things as cell phones. )
As I lay there on the ground wondering if my back was broken, I had an epiphany and realized that being recklessly aggressive comes at a real penalty.
The lesson learned for me in that moment was that every bump that we would hit on the trail was an opportunity to fly. Sometimes you soar like eagles and sometimes you fall. But in the course of navigating what to do with each and every bump, you learn more about who you are and what you are made of.
I believe that life is the same. Metaphor notwithstanding, you hit bumps and obstacles that are potentially threatening. If you see each one of them as complete danger you ride a very safe and narrow trail, but if you see them as opportunities to fly, you are well served to extend your full wingspan and take flight with everything you’ve got.
Life is short, the ride is full of bumps and it is entirely up to you as to whether you will choose to pull up on the handlebars when you get to that bump and fly or whether you will slow down with anticipation of falling. It is not always a clear choice and the potential ramifications are very real. I think a life lived in fear is a shallow existence that pales in comparison to learning how to hit the bump and fly like an eagle.
Wishing you a great Wednesday!😊😊