Monday, October 6, 2014

Do One Thing Everyday That Scares You: Riding Solo

There is this song that I listen to whenever I face challenges or if I needed a quick picker-upper. "Wear Sunscreen" was an essay written by Mary Schmich. Published in June 1997 in the Chicago Tribune, it was adapted into a spoken word song by Baz Luhrmann "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)".
The third stanza of the song goes like this:
"Don't worry about the future
Or know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you."

Do one thing every day that scares you. This statement particularly stuck in my mind as a kind of rally cry. It commands you to dare yourself to be scared, everyday. They say courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act despite being scared.

Is there a need to dare ourselves? Yes! It actually trains your mind to think, to act, in the presence of fear. I ride my bicycle a great deal of time. There is a sense of fear when you ride alone because of a myriad of things that could go wrong as you ride. You could get hit by motor vehicles, suffer a flat tire, experience mechanical trouble and a host of other things. You've got to train and prepare yourself every time you ride out. Fear of getting hit by a car? Sharpen your senses by being constantly aware of your surroundings. Fear of getting a flat tire? Train beforehand on how to fix a flat tire on the go. Fearing that your bicycle may breakdown? Maintenance is key, also learn how to fix common mechanical problems. A nice portable tool is also handy.

Riding in the dark. Now that is scary, let alone riding solo. The dark can make your mind work overtime, you brain is constantly feeding itself with thoughts of ghosts, goblins, elementals, and muggers. The only way to combat this fear is to ride fast enough but safe. Remember, faith is trusting that your headlights will show you the way, 100 meters at a time.

Dare to be scared but be safe always!