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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

BMX Bandit

Okay, okay, I've already outed myself as an old lady, as I suspect BMX-ing is akin to saying I was listening to the hitparade on the wireless...but I'm old so humour me. (I read yesterday, on Moms who drink and swear, that she says 'don't make fun of me. I'm old in my head' - that could be my new mantra)

On the weekend, we stayed at the wonderful Bundanoon YHA, all 42 of us (those who are aware of my social ineptness, might be confused by this, but big crowds can be good to get lost in). One of the highlights of this YHA, is that it has a BMX track on the grounds. So guess who went BMX-ing? And got air?!

The track has some fast corners, and some big obstacles - which I'll admit I was too chicken to do, and was put to shame as I watched 10 year olds mount them with ease. But seriously, no amount of looping the track would get me the courage to ride up this:

 
 


I kept practising, getting speed (and air on the small jumps) but at the last minute I'd chicken out of giving the three difficult obstacles a go. Finally, after a few last minute swerves away, I stumped up the courage and I made myself do this one:




I was so proud of myself - alas no one was there to witness my feat of courage - which was probably good, as I didn't do it very well - I mounted the logs then chickened out and slowed right down instead of shooting over them. But the important thing, with all these Torshlusspanik challenges, is not doing them well, it's just doing it.

The interesting thing, while tearing round the track, was that as I approached the scary jumps, I would feel very fragile, like my bones would break if I fell. Which given some of the kids had massive stacks, without breakage, I guess is part of aging - lots of fear, no logic.

While I say I got air, it probably wasn't as impressive as it felt. I don't mean this kind of air:


But I managed to go at speed over this jump and fly off the end.


There were few witnesses to my prowess - few over the age of 12 (who were not impressed by the old lady slowing everything up). But there was one. That night, the hostel manager came into the lounge and said "You seemed to be getting into the bike track this afternoon". And you know what, I was. While I set myself the challenge of doing one of the jumps I was scared of, I was so busy psyching myself up to getting the courage to do one, that I didn't notice how much I was enjoying going faster on the curves (to race back to the tricky jumps) and how much higher I was going each time off the manageable jumps, to hasten my return to the challenging ones.

And that's a bit like life - we focus on the difficult and impossible, and don't acknowledge the enjoyable and achievable. On one of my posts, in response to my question on why the negative overwhelms us, Aroha from Colour Me Sunset said "Because we focus on the difficult and become blinded by it." That sums up my headspace at times perfectly.

In A Man without a Country, the genius Kurt Vonnegut tells a story of his Uncle Alex, who used to stop and say out loud, when they were having a pleasant afternoon "If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is". Uncle Alex's comment would make everyone pause to appreciate their moment of happiness. In the book Vonnegut implores us  "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"

So for me, flying around that track was joy inducing - the actually achievement of the challenging jump was just getting a box ticked off. I need to be wary of the difference, and remember which is the important one to focus on.




 For the record, this isn't me. It's an 11 year old. But just pretend it is.

Torshlusspanik List:
1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking (check)
8. The Color Run (check)
9. Invent something
10. Cooking Masterclass (check)

11. Master a Masterclass (check)
12. Perform a rap song (check - but write up pending)
13. Trampoline adventure
14. BMX Riding (check)

Stretching out on the Lounge, with some other bloggers...and linking up with Francesca for Thankful Thursday (because of that last little bit!) and linking up With Some Grace for FYBF!

33 comments:

  1. Good on you Lydia!

    That's something I've never tried, but it looks like heaps of fun (I'd be a scaredy cat too).

    What a great thing to say to mark a happy moment - I'll have to try this. Thanks for linking up :-)

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  2. Well done, Lydia. I think my 8 year old son would die of shame if I tried this. My Dad's equivalent of "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is" is "You wouldn't be dead for quids!" - we say this a lot in our house. x

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  3. I'm a big scaredy cat (like Francesca) so I don't think I would be trying any of those 'tricks' and I just KNOW that if K was there she would be saying "Mom, you are so embarrassing" !!!!!
    In our family the saying is "This is the life" - it's getting used more and more often.
    I am inspired by what you do - not to do any of those things - but to push myself outside my comfort zone.
    Have the best day !
    Me

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    1. nice you're using it more & more...

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  4. I'm old enough to remember the whole BMX craze. My brother was totally into it. I struggled to learn to even ride a bike, period, let alone any of that advanced stuff. Seems like a great outlet for you, though.

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    1. heehee - not sure if it was a great outlet, but worth a try...

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  5. What a legend! Still young at hear then hey?? Wish there were some pics of you doing it!! I might have to give it a whirl :) x

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    1. I wish there were pics of me doing it too - did ask partner to come out in 10 mins and take some (the 10 mins being what I thought I needed - was actually more) but he never did...too many other people to be distracted by I guess...next time!

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  6. You rode a BMX bike..in front of children, the most honest people on the planet. That takes courage woman and you are awesome for giving it a go!

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    1. haha! yes, the most honest people - even when it's just a look, and they're too polite to say anything...

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  7. So cool! That is the coolest thing ever. Old fashioned ranga Nicole Kidman would have been proud.

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    1. It was fun, not sure about cool - at least not when an old duck like me is doing it...

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  8. That is completely awesome! I was always too scared to get air at our BMX track, even as a kid, even though I knew it like the back of my hand. I need to remind myself to notice the happy moments. I'm getting better at it, realising they come in small snatches and need grabbing.

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    1. yes, does need grabbing sometimes...

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  9. This is fantastic. I am a scaredy-cat, but sometimes that feeling of freedom, of taking a physical risk and seeing it pay off, is AMAZING. I feel that way with Ekka coming up. I've never gone on the big rides, the kiddies ones are plenty cool enough for me - Wheee!
    If this isn't nice I don't know what is. I really like that sentiment.

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    1. oooo I'm a fiend for roller coasters...you MUST do one next time!

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  10. Go you! A great way to awaken the inner child
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

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  11. woo hoo! Good on you for giving it a go! I can't even ride a bike properly (shame), so I'm in complete admiration for your achievement. I often think that taking the kinds of risks kids sometimes too (not the totally crazy stuff, but the personal challenge stuff) is the key to enjoying life. Well done.

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    1. It is leading to interesting experiences - I'm a big automatic no person, working on turning that around...

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  12. You should add roller-skating to your list! In a similar spirit of wanting to have a crack at what the kids were doing I went rollerskating about 2 weeks ago. I hadn't done it in about eleventy-billion years so it took a little while to get my "skating legs" back but it was loads of fun. I did unfortunately have quite a bad stack at one point but it seems to be healing up. Well done you for facing the fear and going for gold!

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    1. Funny you mention that, I'm in the process of organising a date with a friend at the pup up roller rink with a friend - but I don't think that can go on the list as I've done it before (as a kid) and the list needs to be new things...

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  13. Good on you Lydia! It's good to get amongst it every now & then! I had a chance to get on a trail bike recently - albeit a little one - it was an absolute blast! I would love to go,off road buggy riding - that would be awesome!! :)

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    1. there are red balloon off road buggy vouchers for 2, so if you're in Sydney, we could do it together - beware of what you wish for!

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  14. Wow, good on you! I think this is fabulous X

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    1. Fabulous...not usually a word used to describe me or my skills ;)

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  15. Well done looks like you had so much fun!
    I would be too chicken to attempt anything like that
    Visiting from FYBF and Sweet Little Pretties

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    1. off to check out sweet little pretties...and it was fun!

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  16. Umm.. Wow. Officially in awe of you right now. Coordination, bikes, and me are not a combination that should be attempted... or witnessed. X

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    1. Again, I think you might be overestimating my prowess...

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  17. Hello there, that's a good story and a wise life lesson too... and I've been sitting int he sun today reading, and if that wasn't nice, I don't know what is.

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