5 Things That Being a Rider Has Taught Me About Life
All jokes aside, riding has been a great teacher. Life is a lesson; there’s no getting around that.
It’s not always going to be smooth sailing or easy gliding because that would be much too easy. If life was like that, would it be as enjoyable? Sometimes you have to face adversity, frustration, and difficult to appreciate everything around you. And not just the big things, but the small things, too, because those are the things that can add up to something even bigger than yourself.
We can learn a lesson from almost everything and anything, but some lessons are much more enjoyable to learn. My favorite lessons have come from the road. The road can teach you more than you’d ever expected. The best part? You come to those conclusions yourself.
When it’s just you, the road, a potential destination (or nothing in mind at all) it gives you time to remove yourself from the 'every day.' It gives you the opportunity to feel as though you’re so far removed from the everyday struggles of society, that you can finally think with a clear head. It’s like waking up from a deep sleep that everyone else is under, but only you understand it because you’ve thrown yourself into the sense of escape.
Here are some of my favorite things I’ve learned from riding:
1. Sometimes you can see hazards from a mile away.
When you ride, you have to be able to anticipate all the danger that could be coming your way. Because you’re not as protected as you are when you’re in a car.
This doesn’t mean you should actively look for negativity, but riding a motorcycle has taught me to be much for mindful of my surroundings, and to constantly acknowledge the position I’m in; it has taught me to trust my instincts more, which I don’t just use on the road.
I use my riding instincts in my personal life with my friends, relationships, career goals, and making grand decisions that could potentially alter my entire life. Without riding, I'm not sure I would've developed this mindset.
2. It's okay-and even great-to take risks:
Now, we’re not talking safety risks. But the beauty of riding a bike is it has allowed me to differentiate between a risk that could potentially hurt me, and a risk that can make my adventure and even more enjoyable one. Life shouldn’t be about seeking safety around every corner. It shouldn’t be about having everything perfectly planned. And that’s something that riders know best because there are this carefree freedom and willingness toward a spontaneous life that comes with riding. It’s taught me that risks are essential to take because without them, you might not learn anything or experience some of life's hidden treasures.
3. You shouldn't map and schedule everything out:
Life isn’t meant to be planned down to every little detail. At the end of the day, it’s just meant to be lived. When you plan things out, you get frustrated when life doesn’t follow those expectations to a ‘T,’ and there’s no excitement left. And life is supposed to be exciting. Frustrating, frightening, intimidating? Sure, it’s all those things, too. But in the end, when it’s done right, it’s an adventure you wouldn’t trade for the world.
My motorcycle and riding have taught me that sometimes the best destination’s are the ones that aren’t planned and sneak up on you. That’s there’s an independent and sense of relief that comes with just going with the flow of things, if even just for a little bit. You should follow a map enough not to get so lost that you can’t find your way back, but also be open enough to take some detours.
4. Metaphorically speaking, it doesn't do any good to look behind you:
When you ride, you look forward. Sure, you can catch a glimpse behind you to make sure nothing is sneaking up on you that could do some damage, but you keep looking forward. I’ve taken that lesson and have just applied it to life in general. Things happen, some of which we wish didn’t. But the past is the past and it doesn’t achieve much to continue looking back at it.
When you get so caught up in what’s behind you—what’s already happened—you can’t see what’s right in front of you. Life is about moving forward, not backward. It’s part of the reason why motorcycle won’t reverse without a good bit of effort to make it happen. You keep going forwards and leave everything behind you.
5. Getting time to yourself is more important than you think:
Life can often be complete chaos. You feel like you’re trying to balance multiple different things all and once, and it gets stressful. Sometimes you feel like the people around you have these standards and expectations for you, and that can be a heavy weight on your shoulders. It can even be as simple as being surrounded by a room full of people but feeling emotionally and mentally drained from it all.
When moments like that happen, all you need is YOU and the ROAD. You don’t need anything else because that’s enough for you. You need time to remove yourself from all of that, think, relax, and come back to it later. And if there’s anything that riding has taught me, it’s that sometimes your own company is the best.
The road can teach you so much, if only you’re willing to take some time and travel on it. And sometimes the road can teach you all the life lessons you need to know before you have to learn them the hard way. Regardless, my bike has given me a freedom and knowledge that has allowed me to see the world around me in a better light. And when something can manage to make your life significantly better, it’s something you’ll never give up.
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