At the Jefferson Baptist Church marriage retreat this weekend at Odell Lake Lodge there was several feet of snow, and the lodge has miles of trails for cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and snowmobiling. I decided to try doing some snowmobiling with several others. I had done a little bit of riding on a snowmobile in the past, but it was over 30 years ago, and I am 70 years old now, so I was a bit nervous. We took off and as we road I got more confident and started going faster and going around corners faster. It certainly isn’t like riding in a car or even on a motorcycle! There are lots of bumps and holes so snowmobiling is more like riding a bucking horse. It really is a lot of work riding those things because you are using your legs to take some of the shock out of all the humps and bumps, and you are constantly leaning one way or the other as you take the turns and hanging on for dear life with your arms getting a major workout. So even though it was cold it wasn’t long before I was sweating pretty good. There was a spot in the trail where a tree had fallen over so the two guys in front of me went around it by going up and around it on the right bank of the trail, and as I attempted to follow I slowed down to much and the snowmobile rolled over down the bank. It probably looked worse than it was because the snow made a relatively soft landing for me. The three of us rolled it back upright and got it started again and off we went. Now, I was no longer riding with confidence and my speed went down significantly, so that the other two guys had to stop and wait for me often. The reason I rolled the machine was because I was going to slow on the sidehill going around the tree, but the thought that if what I had just done had been done at the speed I was normally going it would have hurt for sure! I discovered that riding with abandonment is so much more fun and exciting than riding like a chicken, but though I knew that I couldn’t seem to make myself turn lose and just go fast. So when when the guys asked how much longer I wanted to ride I said, “I am about done in, let’s swing by the lodge and I will bail out.”
In life there are so many things that people never attempt to do, because they are afraid of failing. They really do want to do the things that they have often dreamed of doing, but the fear of rolling that snowmobile over causes them to be overly cautious and they keep doing the boring and mundane that they have been doing most of their lives.