I had an amazing insight while mountain biking the other day … when in the midst of dangerous circumstances, our thoughts just get in the way.
I realized that when I’m riding fast down a steep, twisty trail, I don’t hardly think at all. I’m moving too fast and there are just too many decisions to even consider at that speed. Fortunately, my body knows what to do. Because I’m not caught up in thought, I’m in the present moment where I have access to the infinite wisdom of the universe and I just ride the waves of energy to the bottom. This happens automatically, whether we are aware of it or not. This enjoyment in the moment is why I live to ride my bike.
But what if the circumstances aren’t unfolding at high-speed? When I approach obstacles at a low-speed, like a 2-foot high rock step on a steep climb, my mind can get flooded with thoughts about the right approach speed, when to lift the front and then the rear tires, how to keep the handlebars from twisting at the end, how heavy my legs feel, etc., etc. … etc. My mind speeds up to crunch the numbers and produce the correct ‘order of operation’ while the rock is continuing to move toward me. I’m getting anxious about following all the steps correctly, clouded with images of potentially bloody outcomes. My vision narrows, by body tightens and the results are mixed, at best. If I’m really ‘in my head’, I’ll continue to have a conversation with myself about the results for several minutes, missing everything else around me … and not feeling too happy with myself, in the end.
What I realized is that I can have a similar experience to the downhill sections if I just let that first thought go by. When I feel my mind starting to speed up as it sees a potentially frightening obstacle ahead, I can adjust my mental speed for the conditions, keep from getting caught up in thought, stay in the moment and have faith that I already have everything I need inside of me to make it through, over or around anything in front of me. Just like with anything else in life, life is lived in the present moment. That’s where we find joy and contentment. When I’m out of my head and in the moment, I can get through any obstacle and enjoy every bit of the ride!
If you struggle with effectiveness under pressure and feel your thoughts are sometimes getting the best of you, I can help … it’s what I do. You can message me here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 298-9139.