Mountain biking as a metaphor for life

The author rides the White Rim Trail near Moab, Utah, a four-day ride through the desert that is probably a metaphor of its own

Just like life, there are ups and downs in mountain biking
Going downhill is easy and fast and fun
But it’s only the exhausting uphill grind that makes the descent so gratifying.

Just like life, there are bumps in the trail (sometimes huge ones)
Instead of avoiding, fearing, and struggling over those bumps,
Growl like a bear, pump those pedals, and grin, grin, grin as you roll over them.

Just like life, you can’t get to the special places unless you work for them
The harder you push, the steeper and longer the climb,
The better the view and the greater the distance from the middling, maddening crowds.

Just like life, if you travel the same trail all of the time
You’ll become an expert at that one particular thing,
But the routine can make you dull and muffle your mindfulness.

Just like life, if you want to truly enjoy all that the ride has to offer,
Don’t just concentrate on speed. Slow down when the trail is less hazardous.
Enjoy the view, the sights and sounds all around. Look for new offshoot adventures.

Just like life, there will be tough days when you stumble over normally easy obstacles,
And other days when you ride for hours—at one with your bike—without ever touching your feet to the ground
Remember, friend: you can’t appreciate those easy days if you don’t have those hard ones.

Just like life, riding with friends is plenty of fun
But too much focus on who is behind you and who is ahead
Can make you forget to enjoy the ride.
Enjoy the ride!

Just like life, pushing our boundaries and taking risks is essential to our growth and vitality
If you’ve never flown off a jump, try a small one tomorrow.
Falling and failing is good for us.
Most falls aren’t fatal.

Have you gone for a ride this week?
Enjoy the ride!
And don’t think too much!

The author reluctantly pauses his ride to pose for a photo on the edge of Porcupine Rim Trail, Moab, Utah. There's gotta be a metaphor somewhere in this image!


Do you have your own MTB metaphor? Let’s hear it! Leave it here or add a comment on the FB string.


About teachingteacher

Business communications instructor, journalist, corporate communications writer and media trainer ... and Masters Candidate M.Ad.Ed.
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4 Responses to Mountain biking as a metaphor for life

  1. Rachel Rose says:

    Thanks so much for this Frank. Its so beautifully written and full of such wisdom. You offered just the words I needed to hear right now! This part especially resonated with me,
    “Don’t just concentrate on speed. Slow down when the trail is less hazardous”
    I confess I have often struggled with “speed” in my life… I am in recovery and doing much better!

    Carole offered a few metaphors for life that have been especially pertinent for me in recent weeks. The first was the one about crossing the river that she shared with the group. I am reminding myself everyday to take it one step at a time. The other one was about a seed and how it is entitled to occupy space in order to grow but it also needs to let water in and embrace the soil. The challenge is for the seed to find this balance figuring out how much space to occupy while also letting the world in so it can be nourished…. to much of one without the other and won’t grow. Carole the queen of metaphors for life… you the king!

    Good luck this week to all of you reentering the classroom.

    Thanks again Frank I so enjoy the blog!!!

    • Rachel, I had forgotten the seed metaphor. It’s a good one. I hope your weekend of studying went well. We were rained out of our campsite, so I got some good studying in yesterday and read through one third of a textbook. It is a slow slog and I am trying to embrace the lengthy period it will take to complete this program. Normally, in my work, a few hours of effort means finishing a good chunk of any assignment. This is so darned different… Oh, well. I’ll try to enjoy the slow ride.

  2. Trevor says:

    Hmmmmm, ruminating. My own mountain bike metaphor doesn’t bode well for me. My mountain bike has had a flat that I haven’t bothered to fix for well over a year. There are some nice places to ride it near where I moved about 5 months ago. It’s not hard to fix, just so busy and haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe I should. Also should probably log in a few lines on my own blog too.

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