I’ve written about my experience riding my motorcycle before, but I felt compelled to write about my progress after riding today.
I acknowledge that certain things come easily for some people. I also will say that the skills to skillfully ride my motorcycle have not come easy to me. I’ve got to take a step back so you can understand why and how I took up this hobby at 49 years old…
In 1986 I told my husband (then boyfriend) that I wanted to get a motorcycle. At some point he purchased one, and I sat on the back, as a passenger, since… until last July. One of the members of our firefighter motorcycle club suddenly passed away at 48 years old. With that, I decided “today was someday”, and not only got my motorcycle license, but my very own motorcycle.
Even though I had wanted to ride for almost 30 years, and even though I wanted to be so “good at it”, I admit I was a little fearful. I made lots of excuses to others and to myself to justify my skill set. I pretty much even talked myself into believing that if I had gotten that motorcycle at 20 years old it would have been easier to learn the skills to ride.
Nevertheless, I kept at it even though sometimes it was frustrating. There were a few times I internally quit and didn’t ride for days.
Riding a motorcycle, even though you wouldn’t think it because the people who ride make it look so easy, takes great skill (at least in my opinion).
Last weekend, we went on a long ride with 30 other motorcycles. Over 120 miles later, on the ride back, I went around a turn in a manner that was stiff. So stiffly, that I actually was deciding that, if this was how I was going to ride, I should just go back to being a passenger. In my mind I was recounting the many miles we had traveled. In my mind I was “yelling” at how I could still “not be good at this”. Riding a curve stiffly is not a good way to ride a curve. I couldn’t imagine, at this point, after so many months later, how I could not yet have the skills I knew I needed.
Then, it clicked. I can’t exactly explain it. I started “gliding”.
Gliding is the best way I can explain it. I was no longer stiff going around the curves, but the motorcycle skillfully went around them, smoothly.
How many times have we encountered situations like this, where we decided something was just too hard or “impossible”, and quit… If I had quit, it would have been just before I “got it”.
My reflection today is really just this. Coming to terms with the little voices within that tell us we “can’t”, or that, perhaps, we’re “not good enough” to accomplish something.
You know that if you really want to accomplish something, it is possible. We can be taught, but we have to “get it” on our terms and when it’s time for us to trust.
Don’t believe that you’ll never “get it”. Don’t give up on getting the skills you need. Keep at it.
Want to speak in public? Practice. Want to roller blade? Practice. Want to ride a motorcycle? Practice. Want to play the cello? Practice. Want to do ballroom dancing? Practice. Want to do gymnastics, play a sport…. ________________ (fill in the blank). You get the idea.
Knowing that most of us are not born with the skills to do those things that we admire, or things we think we could never do, I truly believe that those who put in the time and the practice do get there. Maybe it takes some people – like me – longer than others. That’s ok! If you keep at it, you will get there. I promise.
If it is something you truly want to do, take that first step and start. Don’t wait to have regrets that you didn’t give it a try. Just go and start.
I promise that, with some time and some practice, you’ll be gliding, too.
After all, I believe it is time to enjoy life. It is time to play…
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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life. The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.