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Let’s Talk About . . . Cowardice and Motorcycles

I am a worrier, a pessimist, and a worst-case scenario kind of person. As a result, I live in a nearly constant state of fear about what might happen, and I make discussions accordingly. Anxiety and self-doubt keep me from doing a number of things I’d really like to do, but I’m worried about what might happen. I’m worried about failure. About what other people think.

It’s that last one that really bugs me. I like to think that I’m strongly independent. That I can survive solely on my quick wit and boyish good looks, but really, I’m constantly thinking about what someone else thinks or perceives about me, and that’s where a good deal of the fear comes from. Not that I think I can’t do it, but it’s almost like there’s some invisible expert on <insert topic here> standing over my shoulder, measuring me up. It’s ridiculously paralyzing.

Well, I’ve decided to take a stand against my own cowardice, and while that does not mean I’m going to throw caution to the wind, I am going to make a more concerted effort to do things that scare me. I started this journey yesterday.

I bought that, a Piaggio MP3 500. It’s a scooter, not a motorcycle exactly, but close enough, and they’re tons of fun to ride. I’ve been wanting one for years, but I’ve always been too scared to actually do it. What if I crash? What if people make fun of me? What if . . . For years I’ve been playing that game, but it’s over now.

So, I’ll be getting my motorcycle license soon, and then it’ll just be me and the road. Me and the road and a million people driving multi-ton death machines trying to run me over. I mean. Me and the road. Definitely just me and the road. I’m a responsible individual, and I know I don’t need to worry about myself going out and trying to do anything stupid, or driving too fast, or whatever. I am also aware that there are irresponsible people out there on the road, and I must pay attention to them.

The fear lies not in me, but in what people are going to think as I’m learning to ride better. Will I accidentally corner too wide, and look dumb? Will I have to slow down a little too much before a turn? Will I be a little over-cautious and look silly driving a little under the speed limit?

It sounds stupid when you write it down, but that’s what’s really been stopping me FOR YEARS. Is how silly I’ll look, even though I don’t really imagine there’ll be any problems. It’s just irrational, but it’s similar to how I approach almost everything I do.

So this is step one of a long and difficult journey out of fear and reticence to try anything new. Who’s with me?

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3 Responses to “Let’s Talk About . . . Cowardice and Motorcycles”

  1. David May 17, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    Hows it going with the scootercycle? I’m with you for sure – worrying about what other people think of your risks is silly.

    • Tyler May 17, 2012 at 6:39 am #

      It goes well, thanks! I find myself constantly checking the weather to see if it will be a good riding day.

      • David May 17, 2012 at 6:49 am #

        Heh, that doesn’t say whether or not you ride even if its a good day. I ride my motorcycle almost all the time, rain or shine.

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