Momentum: What I’ve Learned From (Nearly) Falling Down

by Nate Nicholls · 5 comments

Photo by lovesonic

Ever since I fell off my bike at the beginning of this winter, I’ve been a huge chicken when it comes to riding.  I ride my bike to work every day (thanks to studded snow tires:Nokian Extreme 294 26 x 2.1, in case you’re interested), so being a chicken has really slowed me down.

I learned something invaluable the other week, though, when my brake pads started to ice over, making my brakes pretty useless.  I picked up quite a bit of speed going down a large hill and found myself in the middle of a bunch of slush.

Before I go on, let me say that slush is awful to bike through.  There is nothing for the bike to grip to, so your front tire floats more or less free, causing you to careen from one side to the other.  I ride my bike through it quite a bit and it’s really hard to ride through  It’s scary stuff.  Hard to steer through, hard to stay upright in.  Awful.  Icky.  Ewww!

So, I was in the middle of a pile of slush and going an ungodly speed of [gasp!] 15 miles per hour!  My brakes were worthless so I had no choice but to ride it out.  I’m going to crash again! I thought.  I think I even whimpered out loud.  Seriously, it’s pretty embarrassing when I think back on it.

I tucked my chin to my chest, winced, whimpered, and….sliced right through that slush as though it wasn’t even there.  Huh?? 

As the seat of my pants crawled out from its hiding spot, I understood why slush was always so terrible before: I was going too slow!  The tread of my tires is made to cut through snow, but they have to be moving to do that.  The slower I go, the harder it is to navigate slush.  It’s like a circular saw blade – the saw cuts wood easily, but only if it’s spinning at a high speed.

I’ve made a commitment to myself to post to this blog once per week.  I’m new to blogging and not very good, but I want to be good.  That’s why I’ve committed to posting once per week – so I’ll get better.  I realize that I won’t get anywhere waiting for success to come find me.  In fact, I’ll keep falling over because I don’t even have the traction to keep me on my feet.  The only way I’ll get anywhere (and stay upright) is by picking up a little speed and, thus, gaining the requisite momentum to help cut through the slush along the path to success.

That’s what I’m learning this week.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ray February 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Hey, this is very well written and a great lesson to be learned. Thanks for reminding me that success does not happen for those who wait for it to come to them. i intend to pick up speed as I endeavor to reach my potential


Nate February 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I’m glad you liked it! I’m excited to see where all this momentum takes me…and you. I’m excited to see your first blog post!


Bex March 3, 2011 at 10:14 am

Hey, I’m trying to remember if you told me about wiping out on your bike? Did you get hurt? 🙁 I really like this post though. It’s very encouraging!


Nate March 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I may not have mentioned the wipe out. No, there was no harm done…’cept to my pride (but it’s made a full recovery!). I’m glad you liked the post. Keep reading! And, feel free to share it with others! 🙂


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