SKILLS, RISK, AND FAITH

Paul Basagoitia - Natural Terrain Double Back Flip

Just this last week we had one of our own go down hard while at the RedBull Rampage, Paul Basagoitia. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Paul when he became sponsored through Dainese and he is a genuine great guy. Though we don’t typically do any pro race coverage of any sort on MtnBikeRiders.com, I felt it important to say a few things about what it is we love to do as riders and racers, no matter if we are beginners or pros, just plain trail riders, racer or stunt riders. Risk is in our sport every time we go for a ride our mountain bikes anywhere. We don all our protection needed prior to our adventures that will keep us safe and off we go.
Now this article is not about what happened, was it the fault of the promoters, or as spectators want carnage, making riders push for the crazy stunts in an impossible place of riding.
“NO!” This is about what we love to do, the skills it takes, the risks we face, and the faith we have in ourselves to push the envelope every time we ride.

SKILLS
When we find a sport or hobby we love to pursue, we will go to great lengths to excel in what it is we love. It’s in our human nature to push beyond what we know for our personal satisfaction or the desire to be recognized at times by our peers. For some of us it comes naturally, while others have to work at it just a little more.
In time we can become razor sharp as we become better at what we do. Your skills will become better the more time you spend with anything, whether you train or just get out there to have fun at your comfort level, you will get better.
Much in the way a pianist plays expertly or a Kung Fu master continues to learn far past achieving their black belt. We set goals for ourselves all the time as we get better at what we do.
The skills of the pros at Rampage show us just that. Doing impossible things on a mountain bike never thought possible by most and it keeps getting better and bigger as we cheer on our favorite riders. These are true skills of the 1% masters in their realm and there are no others like them.

RISKS
There is risk in all things we do. Even the most mundane things can have risk; sure it may not kill you or leave you without movement for the rest of your being, risk is a part of life.
When you enter a sport that guarantees an element of high risk one knows what they are getting into.
If any one individual were to go into any dangerous sports not knowing the consequences, I would have to call them idiots on their part.
I as a racer I know the risks I take whether I’m riding or on a race course. Do I have the skills it take to do what I do, yes I do because I have honed those skills over time to get me to the level of riding I’m at.
Now as an individual you have to know your limitations as to how far one can go. Riding over your head above your skill level will be a formula for disaster on your part. Learning this is a key factor to success as you excel to the next level to have fun.
I get asked often, “Aren’t you afraid of what may happen to you if you hurt yourself real bad”. All I can say is the day I start thinking that way is the day I get out of my sport or sports.
Some could say this is the day you lose your nerve, maybe it is or the time come that the risk is to great. We’ll all face this question in time of “When do I stop”.
Yet the old saying goes, “Shit happens” and when that rug gets yanked out from under you. No level of skills may help you at this moment in time, so we ride it out and wait to see what happens next.
This is where faith steps in.

FAITH
One could say there are different levels that you could apply faith to. Like having faith in your skills, maybe the faith to believe in one’s self, or having the faith to not let doubt creep in at the moment of truth.
You could be assured having it is important to your strength as a person. It makes us strong inside when adversity takes hold. This will be the hardest part one will face. All your family and friends will be with you at your side, you will have time to reflect, faith may waver, but one’s strength in faith to push beyond where you are is what drives us no matter what.

IN THE END
We take risks everyday, but we mustn’t dwell on these risks, for each day is always new. Athletes that compete will always share a greater risk in what they do, you have the skills and faith to do what you love, otherwise you just wouldn’t do it.
I’m reminded of a saying, a matto that the US Navy SEALS have when going through BUDS training and beyond when you become a SEAL, “The only easy day was yesterday.”
This is what pushes me every day because it’s true. No matter how hard things may get in life you got past yesterday and it was easy. Push on Paul for we are all with you in mind and body keeping the faith for your fast recovery.

A Road2Recovery fund has been set up for Paul Basagoitia. For those readers of MtnBikeRiders.com that would like to help out Paul Basagoitia by making any amount of a donation to help his recovery please click on the link below.

http://www.road2recovery.com/cause-view/irideforpaul/

Photo from Pinkbike.com

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