There’s something to be said for getting lost. The unplanned worry and frustration. Being forced to overcome adversity. To adapt, to process, to discover. Getting lost is forced growth.
Already, you have a memory come to mind, don’t you? That time when you got lost; maybe you were alone and freaked out. Maybe you were with a group and everyone started yelling over each other. If you’re reading this, you probably found your way. The simple fact that a story popped into your head is a testament to your growth. In retrospect, that memory is more about your growth than the fact you got lost. We’ve all been lost.
Though we may not have realized at the time, we truly did overcome. There is a chance it was chaotic and scary with a sense that you would change your ways next time. But maybe we used a calm, level head a dash of misguided confidence and a willingness to succeed. No matter the situation, we grew. What if we could use this tactic regularly, to grow.
The bike is an incredible tool, for a lot of reasons. We get healthy. Physically, mentally, emotionally…I could go on forever. Seems though, most of us ride the same routes. Every Friday we have our (insert generic Strava ride title) ride, etc. What if we were to actively and purposely get lost? Put ourselves into that uncomfortable loss of control. Would we grow?
“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”
– Malcolm X
How do you even get lost? We can’t just close our eyes and start pedaling. Unless we’re lucky, we’ll end up in the emergency room. And that’s not the adventure we’re probably looking for.
Step 1: Zig when you should have zagged
Active misdirection is easier than you might think. Don’t plan anything. Put your GPS device in your pocket and when you come to an intersection, turn in the direction you’re least familiar with. Boom, you’re lost. Now repeat this with the peace of mind that you can always pull out your maps/phone/computer if things get crazy.
Note: We are looking for a certain level of crazy. Therein lie the awesome stories and personal growth.
Step 2: Keep up the bad work
Now that we have no idea where the hell we are, let’s do our best to accept that. If you’re having thoughts like, “I brought the wrong bike for this” or “how will I get home,” we’re on the right track. That nervous acceptance chuckling to yourself, “Oh, f#*k it.” That’s the growth happening. We’re letting go, we’re experiencing something new.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2
At some point, you’ll come to someplace you recognize. “Oh damn, I know where I am.” A wave of confidence and reassurance washes over us. “That wasn’t so bad.” Now, pick the road/trail you’re least familiar with and do it again. As this process gets extrapolated, we find ourselves leaving our known comfort zone and getting truly lost. This evolves over time.
But did you die? If the answer is no. It’s no, you’re reading this. Then you experienced growth. Continuing to push our own personal boundaries, so we find what those limits really are is where the good stuff really is. We are capable of so much more, so long as we’re willing to get lost.