I have ridden various forms of motorcycle for almost a decade now.
I have only had 1 accident and adding to the mix a part time job at a Scooter store and a full time job at a motorcycle store, my level of experience is above average.
However, there are still some elements of riding that triggers fear for me – one of which is taking my new Vespa GTV 300 on the motorway.
Vespa’s are not designed with speed in mind. Their body is about being nimble at low speeds. At high speeds on an open road the GTV can easily do the speeds required, it doesn’t hold to the road especially well. Any wind gust from passing vehicles or the weather has the GTV dancing all over the road.
Understandably, I do not find riding on motorways especially relaxing.
An opportunity arose for me to put the new GTV on the motorway for around an hour so I could visit a good friend. The night before butterflies emerged. I was fairly concerned that the windy weather was going to make the trip very challenging. This was also the first time I had hit the motorway with this particular Vespa.
The line “Feel the fear and do it anyway” popped into my head and I tried to let the fear go while also praying to the weather gods that the wind would die down.
The weather gods came through. There was barely a breeze.
I hit the motorway tense and at times rather fearful as trucks flew past causing the Vespa to shudder.
I had set up small milestones in my mind. There was a service station about half way. As I rode past it I yelled out (in my helmet) a big WHOO HOO!
Then there was an overpass about 3/4’s of the way. Once I cleared the overpast I joyfully yelled out (again in my helmet) – I made it! Almost there!
Most of the trip I was telling myself “just relax, you are already doing it. You are fine. You are almost there” which would quell the fear bubbling away in my stomach.
Of course I made it there and back again and enjoyed a lovely afternoon sitting by the water with good coffee and great conversation.
But the experience was a reminder that sometimes you really just need to feel the fear and seriously do it anyway. Fear does not have to stop us from doing things and the sense of achievement you have afterwards is amazing!
And as a tip, try encouraging yourself, or as I did, setting up little milestones you can celebrate. For example, if you fear is time based maybe after the first day you can celebrate that time frame, then a week, a month and a year!
Or maybe you can celebrate the completion with some indulgence and pampering.
My MBA kicks off this coming weekend and as some of you know, I scheduled a trip to Bali for 1 week to celebrate the completion of my first term. No matter what happens during the first term I have Bali to look forward too at the end. It is hugely motivating!
Does something cause your stomach to go flip flop but inside you know you need to move forwards anyway?
C’mon and give it a go – Feel the fear, and do it anyway!
Me (Sonya Madden) and a fellow scooter-chick Tish during a club ride, September 2012. Scooter chicks rule!