Obstacles – there are plenty figurative and literal ones, and I’ve experienced both of these types through mountain biking in Moab, Utah. I haven’t ridden a bike since I was about 12 or 13, so jumping back on was a little tough at first. Luckily, I remembered the basics right away and pedaled proficiently around the gravel road in our campsite and the parking lot before we hit the actual trail. Sadly, that little bit of confidence fizzed out when we started the actual ride because I fell, stopped and struggled to begin pedaling multiple times within the first quarter mile of the trip.
But, as that cliche goes, the struggles made me stronger. I wanted to keep going, to prove this dirt path and this bike wrong – that I can and will finish this ride, no matter how banged up I got or how much I wanted to quit. And normally, I’m very pessimistic, but this experience taught me just how I need to be optimistic. I can accomplish great things, from something as meaningless as a four-mile bike ride to whatever the future holds for me, and I just have to trust that I can and will make it through.
This little ride was actually the turning point for me on my trip for more reason than one. The one lesson that really sticks out is just to get back up. Personally, as most people are, I’m afraid to fail, especially in front of people. Then, when I do, I don’t want to try again because who cares? But this time was different. I wanted to try. I needed to try, to prove to myself that I simply can, especially while on my own away from my parents. Being the youngest of three and barely 18, being on my own and independent is hard for me. Mountain biking taught me that when something big and new and exciting comes along – like college or even a trip to Moab – that I will fall, but I will get back up, albeit minor bruises.