Word for Word #8: Lessons the trail and MTB taught me

Word for Word

Pedal ka lang ng pedal.”

a family friend/MTB enthusiast, on dealing with difficult and daunting trails.

Five months ago, my second and not-very-serious MTB fall made me want to stop trail biking. I wounded and bruised my left knee, and scratched both palms. While it may seem like a minor injury, I considered it a big deal because it aggravated the discomfort in my right knee and almost halted my training for my first full marathon.

The moment I got up and picked up the bike, two words came to mind: Never again. I’ll never go back to the trail. I’ll never bike in the dirt. I’ll never seek thrill in the downhills, relish the rolling hills, savor the workout of uphills and appreciate nature using the two-wheeled machine called mountain bike—perhaps not even in trail running shoes. I was just lucky the first few times I biked in dirt—I sustained zero injuries.

When we wrapped up the ride and discussed some techniques, I was advised to not get daunted by difficult terrains.

Wag kang matakot,” one of them said.

Wag kang titigil,” another said. “Pedal ka lang ng pedal.”

They explained that the more I freeze in fear and the moment I stop pedaling, the more I’d likely lose my balance.

Pedal ka lang ng pedal.

Despite deciding to desert the trail, I took the five-word piece of advice to heart. Besides I might go back to trail biking after the full marathon or after getting bored with hamster sessions at the gym. I took the advice seriously, because I believe that just like running, trail biking and life in general have some parallelisms.

Keep pedaling.

It means shrugging off the fears so that one can think clearly despite facing the daunting terrains of life. It means grace under pressure and having presence of mind.

Don’t stop.

It means you just have to keep going, no matter how difficult the course of life may be. Quitting is not an option and chickening out is a loser’s way of life. Besides, the fire road will end and you’ll soon see the pavement.

Padyak lang ng padyak.

It means you just have push yourself some more, and you’ll reach a destination. In real life, there are stumbling blocks situated at certain points; and they’re there to teach you a lesson. You may seek help if it’s too difficult. You then hurdle the obstacles and you will be rewarded with sweet victory.

Pedal ka lang ng pedal.

It means having faith in yourself and to the One watching over you.

And if you fall, wa poise. 😛

But at least you tried. And you learned your lesson. Family and friends will still be there to cheer you on, despite your wa poise moment. Brush off the dirt and seek help from the masters. Re-think. Evaluate. Strategize. And when you decide to brave the trail again, remember the five-word advice.

Epilogue
So while I swore that I’d never go back to the trail again, I signed up for a trail run by impulse a few weeks ago. The MTB and I have been in very good terms for over a month now, and despite staying away from the trail, I’ve been practicing on it on the road again—quite busy roads, I must add. 😀

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