Delle UT day trip

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Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing. -Theodore Roosevelt
Confidence is a funny thing, You either have it or you don’t. With that being said its amazing how quickly confidence can be built or diminished.
I have been riding for most of my life but I have always lacked confidence when it comes to jumping my dirtbike. I recently went out riding with my cousin Aaron, who is an incredible dude on a bike. we got out to Delle, UT around 4:30, perfect “chasing the sun” setup and saddled up for the ride.
As we took off from the truck I had no idea what was in store for me. In my mind I was thinking “just a fun little riding session hitting some berms and some little jumps and cruising wide open through the salt flats”. Quickly I realized it wasn’t going to be that easy. We ended up finding this awesome single track trail that had so much flow, but before I knew it Aaron started heading up the side of a mountain covered in boulders and small rocks. I am no slouch but I had a leaking fork seal and my suspension had so much deflection that even the little rocks made me feel so down on confidence.
We made our way through a few big hill climbs as well as the descents on the other side. I still wasn’t feeling 100% as we went so I was riding like I was in a school zone, making me feel even more embarrassed about riding with such a talented rider. after a few lead changes and feeling like I had to push myself way past my comfort level we decided to turn around and follow the entire trail backwards towards the truck.
Now that we had turned back, once again being in the lead, I threw all caution to the wind and thought to myself “excuses are like assholes, everyone has one. blown fork seals or not I was going to charge!” Maybe a little drastic but, charge I did. we made our way back towards the truck at a blistering pace and dang was I feeling good! Just as things couldn’t get any greater and bring me down from this euphoric high I was feeling, Aaron found a bunch of jumps to hit. I wont lie I do enjoy jumping but nothing like what he was going after. but I wasn’t backing down, cautiously following him off one barely making it classify as a jump. I go 10 feet he goes 50 seemed to be the narrative to end this day. nothing like a good rub it in my face how badass you are on a bike moment to make me feel good is all I could think. Just as I felt like parking my bike and just enjoying the show as he does some nice whips off these jumps, a defining moment was about to happen.
Aaron pulled up, sunk his rear tire in the dirt, and began to coach me. Yes, I know, he is my cousin so this shouldn’t be a huge shocker that he would help me but I was caught off guard that he would want to give up his riding time to help me progress. “keep your head over your handlebars and your butt over your rear shock” he said. seemed easy enough until I went off and did a legit pelvic thrust through the air. He kindly reminded me how dumb that looked and so I tried again so focused on the technique being taught to me. “I did it” I started jumping, while holding my body position. The comfort and control I had while in the air was amazing compared to my “boner air” that I seemed to have down perfectly beforehand.
After a handful of jumps, and Aaron marking my distance to show my improvement, we finally made our way back to the truck to head home. Sitting in the back of the truck changing our gear I felt like my mouth was running 100 mph talking about the gains, the confidence and the adrenaline from the evenings ride.
In the days following this adventure I realized that I had made some substantial improvements, not just with my riding but in my mindset towards life. We can not live in the fear of something we have no control over. when faced with a challenge, or an obstacle, or any trying time, think about how that would look a year from now. do you see yourself looking back and wondering what it would have been like if you had just hit that jump or gone wide open down that trail. I realized a strong hell no was in order. Even if you crash you can and will get up, and it may be accompanied with some bumps, bruises, and some pain. Brace yourself for the crazy thought of the day. What if you ended up going for it, giving it your 100% effort and you make it, you land the jump, and all is well. now you get to look back and tell yourself that you were not afraid of fear, it has no hold on you.
This is one lesson we can apply to our everyday lives, whether you want to ask a girl out on a date, start your own business, hit a jump on a dirtbike or ask for a raise at your job. Would you rather look back and know that either way you put yourself out there, giving your all and being vulnerable without concern of the outcome or just curling up in the corner taking the safe route as to make sure you don’t have to feel any pain or struggle.

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