The Zen of Mountain Biking

The Zen of Mountain Biking

When I was a little rag-a-muffin of a tomboy girl, I followed my older sisters blindly, innocently following without ever weighing out the consequences. My trust was large.

Around the age of ten, I began to ask questions, scaring myself away from anything that took me outside my comfort zone. My craving adventure came with the price of having an inner dialogue of fear. And then I moved to New York City and found my wild side. A side that had no time for fear as my city girl persona emerged. 

When I hit my late 20’s I moved from New York City to Aspen and between skiing and mountain biking I’ve been moving even deeper into the flow of me as internal dams break from the realization that I can either be in a frozen state of fear and stay safe taking walks, or I can not give my anxiety and fears air-time and get Zen. With skiing I have no fear. I was plopped on skis in Vermont at the age of 3. But mountain biking has been a learning curve, and it has taken years for me to not allow my conscious mind drive the show causing me to spaz out and endo. It is only when I let my mind focus on the Zen of the trail that I feel a sense of ease that comes from an empty, clear mind. It is then where I conquer obstacles on the path, obstacles that in the past I had gotten off my bike for. 

The beautiful thing is that this sense of ease then translates into all facets of my life. When the mind doesn’t drive, the anxiety and worry subsides and life becomes so much more beautiful, literally, as I race through the woods ending up in spectacular scenery that leaves me breathless.

Do something you love that challenges you to let your mind go, and I’m not talking about drugs – I’m talking about actually allowing life to be that drug. Live hard. Don’t be afraid. Set yourself free.

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

Albert Schweitzer

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