My sons are mountain bike racers. One of their early races stands out in my mind. During the event my son tagged in with a much older, seasoned rider (picture white flowing hair under the helmet and a wiry body with many thousands of hours sitting in the bike saddle). They spent the race trading the lead and when there was only a couple of km to go my son knew he could kick it up a notch so he pulled out to pass. Inside he was hesitant because this man was an amazing rider and he didn’t know if he could pull it off, also back then he wasn’t sure if it was acceptable to drop someone you’d been riding with. As he passed by this lovely gentleman shouted to him, “OH YEAH!! RIDE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT MY BROTHER!” And so he did.
Ride it like you stole it is a great analogy for life in general. Here are my tips for riding hard:
1. First of all you need to register for the ‘race’ (race being a life change you’ve been picturing, a new endeavor or volunteer position or hey, maybe even an actual race). This means you need to decide on which event you are going to enter because there are many to choose from. You need to pick one.
2. Next, and probably most important, you need to show up at the race (or job or gym or class). Sure you might be terrified or feel like you’re unprepared, so what – just be sure you show up. No one else there will feel totally ready either.
3. Put your feet on the pedals and ride, your brush on the canvas and paint, your butt on the mat and meditate, your nose in the book and learn. Whatever it is just start to gain momentum.
4. Is it feeling hard? Hit a road block? Dig deeper and don’t give up. When you fall off your bike or get a flat tire you do what you gotta do to keep going.
5. And finally, towards the end when it’s looking pretty bleak and you have no steam left – ride it like you stole it! One last push to finish. And Baby, it doesn’t matter how you finish or what place you are in…it matters only that you showed up to the race and gave it your best. That makes you a winner. Cliche, but so darn true.