by Liz Jansen
Slowing down is a lesson on the curriculum for the Wheels to Wisdom Journey. These tips have helped me, and I hope help you as well.
Early in the life of Trillium Motorcycle Tours, a couple of friends joined me on a spring scouting ride for an upcoming back road tour. We had a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time, we were all on one-liter sport bikes, and it was spring.
I have never ridden so fast on twisty, forested back roads as I did on that day. What an adrenaline rush! But it was a crazy, dangerous thing to do.
I still ride briskly, but that ride taught me valuable life lessons. It required such focus on the road and technique that, aside from risking life and limb, I missed so much.
Slowing down allows you the following benefits, while increasing the likelihood of reaching your destination safely.
- Stay safe. While riding at those speeds was an obvious hazard with a potentially devastating outcome, the same thing happens in life. How often do you rush through your day, ignoring your own needs, without considering the consequences? Although not so immediate, it’s just as risky and will eventually catch up with you.
- Enjoy the scenery. You may never pass that way again. There’s no time to stop at a roadside stream, local establishment, or historic sight if you’re rushing. When you’re focused on the never-ending list of commitments at work and home, you miss those special moments that happen once in a lifetime.
- Check your mirrors. The focus required to stay on the road when you’re going fast means you’re likely going to skip checking mirrors. On a bike, checking your mirrors provides vital safety input. In life, others are your mirrors and reflect your strengths, areas to work on, and lessons that need learning. Miss looking in the mirror and you miss information that helps you along your road.
- Notice blocks. It’s important at all times to look as far ahead as possible and to stay within your ability to react. Even while keeping your eyes far ahead, road signs, trees, and parked vehicles can block that vision momentarily. That might be all it takes to have a crash. In life, keep an eye out for the seemingly insignificant blocks that can interfere with your line of sight.https://lizjansen.com/wp-admin/post-new.php#
- Stay alert. While thrilling, riding a motorcycle is exhausting, even without a high-mileage day. Slowing down reduces the physical and mental toll, keeping you alert and focused on where you’re going.
- Prepare for the unexpected. When you’re going fast, there’s no time to prepare for unforeseen events. When they happen, and invariably they do, there’s little time to react. Better to slow down a bit and increase your chances of noticing things around you.
- Mindfulness. It was egg-laying season during my high-speed forest ride, and there were more turtles crossing the road that day than I’d ever seen before. We did slow down in that section and managed to miss them. When you’re so absorbed in reaching your goal, you may miss seeing others on your path, being aware of their needs, and recognizing how your actions affect them.
- Stay on track. We missed a turn in the pouring rain and got lost, which is how we ended up on “Turtle Road” twice. Haste makes waste. Rushing through life can lead to mistakes, making it take longer than necessary to reach your goal.
- Expand skills. While you don’t want to move through life at a turtle’s pace (although that might have been the message for us that day), slowing down gives you a chance to deepen skills and discover interests you may not have been aware of. Those skills might be just the ones you need to reach your goal.
- Stay grounded. There’s no way you can appreciate nature or the effect you’re having on others when you’re moving at breakneck speeds.
A clear line of sight to your vision is a crucial step in reaching it. The choices you make between where you are and where you’re going influence your likelihood of getting there. Life passes by quickly enough as it is. Slow down and savor it.