Navigating Life’s Trails: 7 Lessons from a Mountain Biker

I hope this message finds you well and ready for a dose of inspiration! You’re receiving these blog updates because our paths have crossed, and you’re someone keen on leveling up in life. I truly believe that with a few practical and easy adjustments, we can make our lives greater, happier, and more effective, even in the face of our current challenges.

Recently, I’ve been reflecting on some valuable and very practical life lessons while out on my mountain bike, and I thought it’s worth sharing these insights with you:

  1. Focus on where you want to go – not where you don’t want to go: Just like they say, where your focus goes, your energy flows. When navigating a narrow bridge over a river, if all I focus on is not falling in, chances are I might end up in the water. Similarly, in life, spending too much time stressing about avoiding danger or threats can keep us in survival mode with unwanted results.
  2. Don’t fixate on where you are: On tricky trails, the temptation is to look straight down or right in front of me. However, this limits my ability to handle technical challenges and slows me down. The same goes for life; fixating on the present and getting caught up there, might get us stuck or make us ill-prepared for challenges and blind to potential opportunities. And let’s also bear in mind, every challenging path, difficult season, or episode eventually comes to an end.
  3. Look ahead while managing the present: A valuable lesson from my mountain bike coach over a decade ago was to always keep my eyes 4-7 meters ahead. He explained: “your brain and body will do the work in the present, while you see ahead”. The idea is to see the future with its possibilities while effectively handling the present. It’s a strategy that works both on the trail and in life.
  4. Momentum is your friend: Just like it’s tough to restart on a steep uphill or technical downhill once you stop, the same applies in life. Keep moving forward, manage your speed, but never lose your momentum. Don’t hesitate to take the next step; avoiding a complete stop is key.
  5. Pause to Ponder: This might sound contrary to the previous point, but taking a pause to reflect after completing certain parts of the journey is crucial. It’s a chance to check your ‘bike and yourself,’ hydrate, and confirm your route. In life, taking regular moments to pause and reflect prevents burnout and keeps you on the right track.
  6. Proactivity is key: Instead of blaming external factors or making excuses, take ownership. Ride as well as you can with what you have. Control the things you can control and let go of the rest. In both biking and life, being proactive can make a world of difference.
  7. Enjoy the ride: Otherwise, why are you here? It’s a choice!

I’ll admit, I don’t always get it 100% right – not on the bike, not in life. But let’s take a moment to assess where we are and make those improvements. When we do, life has the potential to be so much better.

Wishing you an adventurous journey ahead!