Everything I Needed to Know About Life I Learned From Mountain Biking

A man mountain bikes near Wade Lake in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

Whizzing down the mountain, the wind whips against your face and gives you an exhilarating rush. The tires of your bike roll beneath you down the rickety path as you give yourself to the gravity of the mountain. When you slam the brakes to avoid an oncoming tree, your wheels skid at a 45-degree angle, kicking up dust. The plume of dust surrounds you as you breathe a sigh of relief after recognizing you are safe. Inhaling and exhaling, you try to slow your heart rate at the thrill of it all.

The Uphill

Just as trudging up a mountain on a bike becomes harder with time by wearing down your quadriceps muscles, overcoming obstacles in life becomes similarly difficult. It can feel like slamming your head against a wall with no end in sight. Once we commit to a mountain or take on a significant challenge in life, we may feel a deep desire to turn back around. There will never be 100% certainty with any choice you make. However, you have to trust in the process.

The Downhill

After having reached the peak of a mountain, you have an opportunity to take in the breathtaking scenery. When you accomplish something grand in your personal or professional life, it can also feel like a summit. It might feel like a plateau or a straight drop after you reach that point. If there’s anything we know about gravity, however, it’s that what goes up must come down. Eventually, in mountain biking and life, you realize that you cannot pause to take in the splendor forever. The weather will change, or another obligation will command your attention. You must embark on the downhill.

The Thrill of It All

Life is a series of ups and downs. There are dynamic processes taking place during each up and each down, preventing you from relegating one pivot in direction as either wholly good or wholly bad. While this emulates a sinusoidal movement, life is not a single sinusoid. It is many undulating curves that are parallel and sometimes intersecting. For many, life—and mountain biking—constitute deeply thrilling experiences.

Mountain biking is as much about life as it is about engaging in extreme sports. It often parallels our own life experiences. At Valiant Living, we encourage our clients to immerse themselves in the outdoor opportunities available to them through our location in Colorado. Our men’s only clinic focuses on treating addiction and co-occurring mental illness. We have both inpatient and outpatient opportunities for our clients. This process is not just about overcoming the addiction but also modeling for yourself a new way to engage with life. To lean into your mental wellbeing, contact us today at (303) 952-5035.