Dirt Bike Racer

Sometimes trying new things is scary.
Sometimes trying new things is exciting.

My husband grew up in a car loving family. And not just cars, it's really anything with a motor and wheels.
So obviously no family gathering is complete without "talking shop" and riding dirt bikes. Each Thanksgiving the guys spend most of their free time watching football and riding dirt bikes. My brother-in-law has an amazing dirt bike course he built on the back section of his property. The men and boys circle the track on their bikes, and there is even a tough, old golf cart that the younger kids rally around the course.

I've never ridden a dirt bike until this weekend. I'd never driven a golf cart either.
And I've been married into this motor-loving family for five years now!

So this year I really wanted to learn how to drive around the dirt bike course.
But I was nervous.
Johnny knew I really wanted to drive around the course, and he knew I was hesitant. So he put me behind the wheel of the golf cart first. Once he had reassured me that I couldn't break the golf cart, I felt free to hit the gas and climb up the dirt hills. It was awesome!

Then it came time for the dirt bikes.
Some of my nephews have been riding dirt bikes since they were three years old. Some of my nephews and brothers-in-law race in competitions and win awards. I felt inadequate. 
Fear (and pride) can be a big roadblock to trying out new things.
I was afraid they would laugh at me or think I was silly to try and ride around the course.
Luckily, my husband is an empathetic and patient teacher, so he said he would help me learn to ride when the course was empty. On Saturday night, just before the sun began to set, my family went outside for one more lap around the track. No one else was riding at that time. After my husband took the kids out for runs, it was my turn. Patiently, Johnny showed me how a dirt bike operates, where the engine shifter and brakes were located, and how to increase the throttle. Luckily, this particular bike didn't have to be shifted into gear in order to move around. All I had to do was push one handle forward for more speed. Perfect for me!
Once he had me seated on the dirt bike, he asked me to make a circle around him as a test run.

I think my face shows my cautionary excitement at riding a motorized, two-wheeled vehicle for the first time:

But once I figured it out, I loved it!
Climbing up hills, cruising over open fields, and hitting the gas down the straightaways - how exhilarating!

Here's me at the end of my run, loving the dirt bike!

It took me quite a few years to try something new, and it was simply fear and pride that held me back. Not fear that I would get hurt, but fear that my pride would be damaged if I wasn't as good as everyone else. What a silly thought. I could have been enjoying dirt bikes all this time!

Comparing ourselves to others has pros and cons. It can encourage us to try harder and improve, or it can hold us back. See another article on the negative effects of comparison here.

Take some time to ponder on activities you'd like to learn. What's holding you back?

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