Recently I got my motorcycle license! For some reason, there is no better feeling than being on a bike for me.  I’ve loved motorcycles for as long as I can remember. I can remember riding sandwiched between my mother and father on the motorcycle in Vietnam when I was a toddler. (Laws are different over there and they don’t go as fast.)

Because I’m so small, I didn’t think I could ride a motorcycle. (I’m only 4’9″) I settled for riding on the back with others and also got a scooter. I loved my scooter and quite obnoxious with Cosmo on it.  When I came to Denver, I sold it and said my next vehicle would be a motorcycle, even if I had to built it. It’s taken me six years to get to this point.

Learning to ride was HARD! The concepts and language were foreign to me. I dropped the bike twice. One of the instructors pulled me over and said I needed to pay attention otherwise I would have to come back another day. I was holding the group back. I was so upset because I was concentrating so hard! I was over-analyzing it and freezing up. I had quite the death grip on that clutch!

When I fell the second time, the instructors waited to come lift my bike. Waiting for them, my negative voices came in. “Maybe you are too small to ride. Maybe this is a bad idea. If you can’t make it in here, you better not ride out there. You’re not smart enough to do this.” The odds were not in my favor.

Then one of my angels came down and had a talk with me. “You can do this! Make it into a game and fun.  It’s like the Hunger Games. You gotta make it out alive! The odds ARE in your favor. This is the place to fall. You fall 10X more times here because they will pick you up. It’s not your bike that you are damaging. Your falls are helping others learn. Like getting back on the horse, you gotta get back on that motorcycle!”

Then something shifted in me and I started getting it. My limbs finally clicked together with my brain. There are two things I learned in the motorcycle riding coarse that are vital to survival on the bike and LIFE. It’s the difference that allows you to conquer your fears and ride with soul and grace. Some of it seems counter-intuitive and your survival reaction can be your worst enemy, taking you down!

1. You gotta keep your eyes and head up in the direction you want to go.

Your SR, survival reaction, will make you look down. Your 1st reaction is to look down. When you look down, your eyes tell your brain you can’t do it. Immediately you fall! If you look up and in the direction you want to go, your body will do what it needs to. TRUST it and LEAN into it.

It’s so scary but you must trust your body. On twists and turns, this is vital. You will have the death grip doing this until you get use to it. When you get out of that turn, you will feel like you are flying. Its this excitement and peaceful feeling at the same time.

This is the same for your goals and dreams. Your survival reaction will talk you out of going for something or slam on the breaks. It will look down, taking you down. It will be scary. Stay the coarse, look in the direction you want to go, trust your body, and LEAN into it! When you achieve it, you will feel like you are flying.

2. You must learn how to ride the FRICTION ZONE.

The Friction Zone is a mixture of increasing the throttle and releasing the clutch. You need to ride the Friction Zone with tight turns and rocky areas. It requires focus and you must take it slower. It’s harder to balance the bike going slow. Once you understand it, its not so hard. It becomes natural and you’ll shift automatically.

Find your Friction Zone in life’s flow. You gotta learn to LET GO of that clutch. You gotta increase the throttle to get you out of the turns and rocky areas. This requires action. It will become easier and you will move forward.

Reflecting on these concepts I was excited about the new adventures ahead,  on the motorcycle and life…

Everyone should take a course before getting their motorcycle license, whatever their experience is. I took mine at Full Throttle Riding Academy

thuy's new bike

thuy’s new bike


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