8 life lessons I learned from a motorcycle class + one slap in the face

Harley under the sky Paco CT via Compfight

I’m in the process I sold my truck and am going all motorcycle for a little bit. Simple reason… gas prices kill me and traffic is about has fun as watching paint dry. Moves as fast too.

If there are any riders out there you will know what I mean when I say riding is pure freedom. There is such a euphoric feeling about it.

Trying new things and embarking on challenges really gives you the opportunity to learn so much about yourself, others, and the world around you. Make sure to always keep your mind, body, and spirit open and let those experiences serve as reminders as to how you can continually improve and help others along the way.

This class was not much different then my paddle boarding experience. The following are 8 life lessons I learned form a  motorcycle class + one slap in the face. I should preface…. in no particular order.

Lesson 1: Keep your head up and look where you want to go

When riding a motorcycle just like in life a sure-fire way to hit the ground is to look at it.


Because when you’re always looking at the ground you can’t see what’s going on around you, in front of you, or in the distance. Try this little test. Walk into your family room, television room, bedroom, or whatever room your heart desires. Take a few pillows off the couch, maybe some of your kids toys, or some dirty laundry and throw it on the ground.

Now stand at the entrance and look directly at your feet. I mean straight down. Now try to walk around the room like that. There’s a good chance your going to fall over, run into some stuff, and find some nice new black and blues on you.

Now try it again but slightly lift your gaze…. a little less bumping in to stuff right?

Now hold your head completely high. Take a good look. You can see every thing right? You now know exactly how to navigate that room without bumping into sh*t.

So just like in life. If you know where you want to go then keep your head up and high by staying confident and sure about your decision to take whatever path it is you’re on. Don’t doubt yourself for an instant by looking down. That’s the moment you lose sight of what it is in front of you and crash into something.

Lesson 2: You only use first gear to get started…then you’re off!

On a bike the only time you’re ever really in first gear is to get started. That in itself doesn’t last very long. Before you know if you’re in second gear, the ride is much smoother and it’s much easier to navigate turns, obstacles, and to keep from stalling.

First gear is important. We all have to get started somehow and there is no better way than easing into it. But once you get started and those feet come off the ground get rolling into second gear and start enjoying the ride.

If exercise is something your trying to get started then get into first gear by walking or running, second gear might be body weight training, and before you know it you’re getting in pretty good shape, building some lean muscle, and have established the exercise habit.


Lesson 3: Sometimes its easier to balance when you speed up

Go to slow on a motorcycle and you’ll stall. Hit that corner with not enough speed and you’ll fall over. For those of you that don’t ride a motorcycle; simple get on your bicycle. Try and go as slowly as you can. Now try to take a corner as slowly as possible. Pretty tough right?

The fastest way to balance something on two wheels is to speed up. Life is a lot like a two-wheel vehicle. Never quite balanced unless you get a firm grasp on what it is you are doing and then run with it. Turn that throttle and roll! If you need to slow down you’ll know it and you will. So long as you keep that head up…. see what I just did there. If not, go back to lesson number 1 🙂

Lesson 4: If you stall just power down and power back up

Everyone stalls from time to time. You might feel like you’re not quite progressing in the gym, maybe your side business isn’t going exactly how you planned or growth is slow, or maybe you just feel a little stagnant in life at the moment.

Don’t stress out about it. Stalling is temporary. To get out of it just turn off the key, evaluate what happened. Once you’ve figured it out power back up, get into first gear again, start moving, and then turn that throttle and get into second ASAP.

Take your time if you stall. There is no rush to get out of it. The worst case scenario is that a few cars might honk their horns at you. But so what. To make sure you don’t stall again really take a look at what happened, what decisions you made, or simply where you might have made a little gaff.

Did your fat loss goals stall this week. Maybe it was that weekend bender with the buds. Beers, nachos. and pizza galore. Or maybe you skipped a few workouts that past few weeks. Be honest with yourself here.

If you feel a little stalled at the job how can you get back into first gear? Maybe suggest that project you’ve been thinking about and see if you can dive in and start working on it. You might just need a complete change but at least start looking at other options or working on a side project of your own if starting your own business is something you want to do. Sitting there stalled and complaining about it is only going to get you……………

Well, sitting there stalled and complaining about it.

Lesson 5: There are a lot of us going at different speeds, with different skills, and abilities. Respect that and remember to concentrate on things you can control.

When going through some of the drills I found myself wanting to go FAST. I was catching on very quickly and felt comfortable with what we were practicing and being a little bit of an impatient one I wanted to get started on the next drill or speed it up a bit to make it more challenging.

I was often caught behind someone who wasn’t quite as comfortable just yet and struggling a little bit to catch on with some of the drills we were practicing.

It serves as a good reminder that we all move at different speeds with which we are comfortable. Have that awareness to know how you operate and do things at a rate which are meaningful for you.

Sure your friend might have lost 15 pounds this month and maybe you only lost 3. Comparing yourself to others and fixating on what they are doing is a sure-fire why to find stress, unhappiness, and jealousy. Focus on doing what is best for you based on your talents, skills, and knowledge.

Pezzi di vita che diventano viaggio  (Far East Film Festival 10 - 2008) Piero Fissore via Compfight

Lesson 6: There’s two kinds of riders

There’s a saying out there about motorcyclist. The saying goes like this.

“There are two types of motorcyclist. Those that have fallen, and those that will.”

That really couldn’t be any more perfect. That really sums up life pretty well. We all have taken a spill, fallen down, or ate it. Even some of the most successful people this world has seen have struggles.

Walt Disney
Michael Jordan
Thomas Edison

We all fail at some point in our lives. But the key is to separate expecting failure and accepting it.

When you accept failure all you are doing is acknowledge it as a possibility. That when you give something your all there is a chance it might not go as planned but that there is an opportunity to learn from and either improve or move on.

In the case of your nutrition plan maybe you were following a plan for a month and saw no results. After looking back and evaluating what you did you might find that you need to tweak somethings. Adjusting calories, cutting back some of the starchy carbs, or adding in a few interval training sessions where you were not doing them before.

When you expect failure you are welcoming it with open arms. Telling yourself things like I’m not good enough, smart enough, or I don’t know enough about something. When you do this you are inhibiting yourself from fully investing in the task at hand.

Jack Canfield said it best. “99% is a bitch. 100% is a breeze.”

When you make a decision commit 100% to it.

The slap in the face

Ready for it. I almost hate to say it because it’s so obvious I think it might disappoint you. Oh well, drum roll please……………..

Time flys when you’re having fun

There were two-parts to this motorcycle class. The classroom part…. lets call that the “no fun part.”

And the range part where we got to ride…. lets call that the “all fun part.”

Needless to say the classroom part was only 2 hours long but felt like it took all day. The range part was 6 hours long and felt like minutes.

Time truly does fly when you’re having fun. Now can you always be having fun? I doubt it (if you are please call me. I want to know how you do it.) But I honestly believe we can be and should be having fun 80% of the time if not more.

There will always be tasks, obligations, or random things we have to do that might not be barrels of good times.

Laundry, writing bills, researching, and truth be told I don’t even like cooking that much (GASP!)…. those are not always high on my list of most enjoyable experiences. I try my best to make them fun by rocking out to some good tunes, watching a football game, or doing something silly while at it.

The point is to start doing more of the stuff you love and less of the stuff you don’t. You might not be able to get started right away. That trip around the world might take a few months to save up for, or those six-pack abs might take a few weeks, but just make sure to do more of the things that make you happy. Movies out with the family, dancing, reading, kite surfing, running, whatever your heart desires.

What are some of the things that make you happiest? How do you prioritize them to make sure you are getting them in.

If you’re not, how come? What is keeping you from doing more of what you love?

Live limitless,