When was the last time you took a risk (big or small), and pushed your own boundaries — socially, professionally, or otherwise? Were you satisfied with the outcome?
Risks. A siren in my ears.
An example: At eight years old, I decided that the best rush ever would be to set up two bike jumps, with plywood and cinder blocks, on the side of a hill. Then I dragged my bike up a second hill above the first.
Airborne is spectacular.
The landing was great the first couple of times. The third time I was mashed beneath my bike with a spectacular bloody knee.
But it was worth it.
I’ve taken it a step further since then.
There is an 800 foot height difference between where I live and where the grocery store is. Every road from the top takes a steep decline to the bottom, look on Google Maps and you’ll see an incline of 800+ difference in latitude, or whatever, they had etching for sea level for some reason…
Point is, if you take your bike to ride towards the grocery store, the downhill ride is Ah-mazing!
Up the ante
People in this town drive like they’re from NJ, and we aren’t in NJ, nowhere even close. My friend says that it’s like being back in India, but I can’t comment on that since I’ve never been to India, and I don’t know how they treat cyclists there. Suffice to say that here, with the high college student population, ignorance is blind and blind is how they prefer to see cyclists.
Let me ask you, does it make sense for a car to try and beat a bike when the bike is crossing the intersection? If you answered no, you obviously don’t live here (lol).
So, riding down the road at breakneck speed with minimal, sometimes no, brakes through intersections may be considered risky. Doing so without a helmet- stupid, but I’ve done it. I’d say not on purpose, but who knows how the subconscious brain works.
My next step is to buy a motorcycle. Everyone keeps saying, “no don’t do it”, but I still wanna. Of course, buy the proper clothing and a helmet. I may like risks but I’m not interested in fast-laning to death.
I take risks on people. I know, rather dark and cynical. When a plant is burned, it take time to uncurl and reach for the sun. It’s never the same. The biggest risk I take is on people. To give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.
But taking this risk is worth it. I get to meet amazing people every day, people I never would have known if it weren’t for stepping out into that “scary vulnerability” and giving them a chance to not disappoint, rather than just assuming the worst.
Taking a risk doesn’t have to be life threatening, it can be stepping out your front door, doing something different, or being yourself.
I look forward to continuing to taking more of these risks. The reward is exponential.