Old(ish) Dog, New Tricks

Feb 10, 2014
Tagged with: Old(ish) Dog, New Tricks

Although my love for nature makes me fairly adventurous, when it comes to potential for physical harm I’m a huge wimp. However, I married an outdoor adventurer mountain man who, among other crazy activities, loves mountain biking. Walking up and down trails on my own two feet is totally different from careening down inclines trusting rubber two inches in width to take you over boulders and logs and various man-made death obstacles.  Therefore, until recently, mountain biking fell into the category of “Things I don’t do.” There was the fear aspect, but also, it was a new thing I wasn’t sure I’d be good at. I like doing things I know I’m good at… like running and soccer. I liked staying in my little box of athletic pride!

Well, my husband entered us in an adventure race this past fall and of course, it included 8-miles on single-track. Single track meaning room for one bike only or you hit trees.

Low and behold, turns out I LOVE MOUNTAIN BIKING (which, BTW, in cool bike lingo is abbreviated as MTB). I’m not that good and still get scared. But I literally dream about it…flying through the woods like I’m on a roller coaster and then feeling the burn in my heart and lungs and legs as I work to conquer that hill.

This got me thinking about trying new things. I don’t know if I ever would have starting biking if we hadn’t entered that race…my fear and pride kept me from trying something new. But now I have a new hobby/way to be physically active/way to enjoy nature!

On a similar note, since I moved to Birmingham a whole new world, the one of adapted sports, opened up to me. The awesome recreation staff at the Lakeshore Foundation graciously lets me play wheelchair softball and basketball with their adult recreation programs. Well, try to play. I’m pretty bad. But learning new things keeps your mind and body healthy and builds character. There’s so much value in stepping out of your box and being willing to fail or stumble while learning from others to put the physical and mental work in to improve.

Are you one who loves trying new activities? What new things, sports or otherwise, have you tried lately? What are some things that seem fun but you’ve been afraid to try?

Author: Katie Henley



  • bobl07

    I always appreciate blogs that reflects a perspective of the enjoyment that activity brings to their life and in this case a marriage. Keep riding!

  • Katie Henley

    For sure! Getting your heart rate in the right range is important, but enjoyment is equally (or dare I say…more) important!

  • Susan Silverman

    I’m not a big fan of mountain biking because it is too slow on the way up and too fast on the way down….but like you, I can be hesitant to try new activities because I want to be good at everything right away and that doesn’t usually happen. You’ve inspired me to always take the chance and give it a try! Thanks for sharing and ride safely!

  • Katie Henley

    Awesome! Let us know what you try next. I’m learning I don’t have to be “the best” or even competitive to enjoy something.