All Terrain Learning to enjoy the ride

I just returned from my EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization) annual Forum Retreat.  After working on our businesses for a few days, we went out for “a ride.” I had never been on an ATV before and thought, “it has four wheels and a cushion seat… you sit and you drive… how hard could it be?”

As you know, I am an “All In” girl so I jumped on my ATV and followed those that knew what they were doing.  As I tried desperately to keep up, I felt both exhilarated and scared.  I wasn’t dressed quite appropriately and though I initially complained about the weight of the helmet, once I got out on those backcountry trails with divots the size of my entire body, I came to love that thing!

Riding an ATV is both exciting and dirty. The dust is insane. Though needed, goggles with a bandana are not my best look!  As I grew confident in how to use the gas, the brakes, and the heavy steering system, I started to focus on how to enjoy the ride.

Lesson 1: Sometimes you have to get through the initial discomfort of life’s adventures to get to the really fun stuff!

One thing is for sure: I had no idea that ATVing was a great analogy for strategic thinking. You have to look ahead, sit up, and become one with the bike, adjusting to the trails that change instantaneously from smooth to deep grooves with crater-like crevices. Then there are the numerous rocks that can throw you off balance—usually when you least expect it.

My ATV had the gas on the right handlebar (this may be the norm, but hell if I know) and you use your thumb to accelerate. I believe I now have carpal tunnel syndrome from holding on so tight and using the throttle. My inability to get a steady flow of the gas would have made anyone sitting behind me sick. I was so focused, it never bothered me!

Lesson 2:  What you focus on comes true. Look ahead. Stay agile. Move with the road. And don’t worry about things you can’t control. You need gas/fuel so does it matter how smooth it flows?

ATVing is a sport where mindset can really mess you up. It’s a lot like skiing that way… When you see those moguls on a double black diamond ski run, you must decide how you are going to think because that is the predictor of both the ride down the slope and the joy factor.

While riding, if you worry about the huge land craters that are around every turn, the odds are you will drive into them. When you hit them, you get off-balance.  Being off balance when responsible for a large moving machine does one of two things:

  1. You find the courage to ride that baby with all you’ve got, or
  2. You park it.

Head trash is no laughing matter with 800 pounds of metal under your butt as it could easily be above you. Fear is the enemy!

Lesson 3:  Balance is an important part of riding an ATV (as it is in life) and to have it, you have to have the right mindset. Beware of head trash. It messes up the ride!

In conclusion, I survived. I loved it! And most importantly, I don’t want my daughter ever doing it!  !And boy, what a ride!

All in,