“Fear (noun) - a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.” 1
Watching my granddaughters play in the pool recently, made me think about fear and how it affects us. My oldest granddaughter, Addison, will play all day on a shallow tanning shelf but ask her to get in the deeper water, even while wearing a life jacket, and she freaks out. She’ll eventually get in but only after a lot of coaxing and even then, she wants someone to hold her the entire time. On the other hand, my youngest granddaughter, Mia, will jump right in. Mia is content to splash around on her own while wearing a life jacket. Both girls enjoy the water but have vastly different comfort levels.
I think for many, riding a motorcycle is similar to my granddaughters’ experience in the pool. Some jump right on and ride like a bat out of hell while others are so timid their motorcycles become glorified garage queens. While fear can help keep us safe and out of trouble, if not checked, it can become debilitating. Fear can keep us from trying new things and enjoying life to its fullest. Fear is the antithesis of adventure. How many times in your life has it played a part in the decisions you’ve made? Be honest with yourself.
As motorcyclists, it’s important for us to be aware of our fears and balance them with an honest assessment of our riding skills. We can’t afford to be overcome by fear while riding through a curve…the result could be deadly. We must work on improving our riding skills and addressing our fears head-on through thoughtful practice. If you’re fearful of riding the Interstate, riding at night, riding in the rain, or riding the twisties, work on your basic skills, then go out, and make yourself ride in those situations and conditions. The only way to conquer our fears is to face them.
Friend and fellow moto-blogger, Trobairitz, did just that. Two-weeks ago, she visited Huckleberry Flats Off-Highway Vehicle Area for the first time on her Yamaha TW-200. While climbing a steep and rutted hill she was almost thrown off her bike, but despite being injured and afraid she hung on and made it to the top. Traobaititz faced her fear and will forever be a better rider because of it. I admire riders like that and hope if I were in a similar situation, I’d have the intestinal fortitude to do the same.
Looking at my own life, I know that fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and fear of injury have influenced several of my decisions over the years. I regret that. I realize I can’t do anything about those things now, but I can work to do a better job of acknowledging and recognizing when fear is present and make a concerted effort to face it head on. Life is too short to hold back out of fear.
Don't let fear be a factor in your riding or your daily life. Live with no regrets...Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy!