GLEN HELEN RACEWAY, CA – Anyone who knows me, knows I’d rather see life through a viewfinder. Pictures inspire me in way reality often doesn’t. Life is better, more beautiful, more astounding when a moment is captured. A great photograph makes you think. Like this PERFECT MOMENT captured by photographer Heidi Zumbrun:
This picture made me think. About what? Hang on. I’ll get to that in a second.
The rider making the graceful tumble down the hill is Caroline. Big kudos to her for taking on the challenge at the annual Halloween Hell On Wheels Hill Climb and trying to best that beast of a hill. She didn’t make it, but she got out there and did it. Caroline is one of those girls who knows how to make people laugh. She’s full of life, likes to shock people, and clearly, isn’t afraid to try something crazy. In other words, she’s beyond cool, something abundantly apparent in this photo.
Speaking of the photo, as you can see, Heidi is an extraordinary photographer (plus she’s a Moto-girlie which accelerates her awesomeness). Not only is the angle of poor Caroline’s body beyond perfect in this captured moment, but look a little closer. Heidi captured the true essence of Caroline. She captured her smile. I’m seriously in love with this picture, not just because of its absolute perfection, but because of where it made my brain go.
Fearlessness. That’s what this picture made me think about.
I’m not by nature a brave person, even though people often tell me I am. OMG! You’re so brave to ride a motorcycle! Ummm… not really. I still get scared, and when I do, I force myself to be brave and just do it. For the most part I’m able to talk myself into things. But not always. I was just saying to my feller the other day how I wish I were more brave (said after whimpering like an idiot as we crawled up a hill in our new 4×4 truck). I HATE being afraid. I want to kick fear’s ass. I want to be the badass many people think I am (I am not). I’ve got to tell you, the times I’ve conquered that fear are some of my most memorable moments. Like the time I was harnessed and hung out of the back of a Chinook helicopter to shoot a story on the National Guard. Or when we blasted through an insane storm near Four Corners with lightning and hail and bomb-like tumbleweeds hitting my motorcycle. And, oh yeah, the terrifying gravel road with sharp switchbacks. Eek!
AND the big one… when I published my novel.
Fear is a state of mind, right? So it’s all mind over matter. Granted, I don’t know if I would have had enough MIND to get on a dirt bike and blast up that hill like Caroline did, but if you live in fear, you’ll never achieve the things you want to achieve. You’ll sit back and have regrets over what you wished you would have done. You’ll be a spectator to life, not a participant. And that’s the last thing I want to do. There are times my social anxiety has kept me from going to events that later I kicked myself hard for not attending. I sat on MOTOR DOLLS for over ten years because I was terrified of putting it out there, but you know what? I finally realized I would always wonder what could have been had I done it, and I would have lived with regret. Yes, I still get a bit freaked out thinking my words are in the public’s eye, but it was the right thing to do. And I have no regrets.
So go do something amazing today, something FEARLESS… and do it with a smile, just like Caroline.
Until next time…
Oh… and if you want to see more of the crazy hill climb, check out this fun video from our pals at Burly Brand!