Help – I’m out of control

DaveBikeYou might think that I am going through  a mid-life crisis. You might think I’m being rather silly. You might think I’m plain ridiculous.

Maybe I am. Maybe not.

Almost every article I have written is about me sharing some pearls of wisdom or giving some advice. So I’ve been thinking that you could give me some advice this time – just leave a comment with your thoughts. Please!  x

Here’s the issue:

The kids have (almost) left home. My husband and I are doing all sorts of things that we haven’t done in years or even ever in some cases.

Hey – keep your mind on the straight and narrow please!

My husband has always had a motor bike sitting in the yard getting dusty. Now its been dusted off and some Sundays we go for a ride. We’ve found two other couples that go with us. Each couple takes a turn to plan the route and then feed us afterwards. There’s a lot of fun, banter and excitement as we get closer to the day of the ride.

Now we’ve all purchased new, better bikes (which are all old – er – I mean classic – better use the right term!!)

The problem is – I’m such a nervous passenger.

I close my eyes when we go round a corner. I grip on so tightly I get sore shoulders and arms and my poor husband battles to breathe… which is not such a good idea when he is driving!

Truth be told, I’m quite a nervous passenger in a car too.

I know exactly what the problem is.

It’s because I’m not in control of the wheel.

So I have control issues I’m embarrassed to say.

There were brief moments when we rode on Sunday when I relaxed and  enjoyed the scenery. I want more of those – in fact I want to enjoy the whole ride.

I want to know how to lean in when we go round a corner instead of lean the other way – it would almost be a miracle if I could learn to do this!

So I wondered if you could comment and give me some ideas  how to relax more on a bike.

How do you accept and relax, in general, when you are not in control?

Share your thoughts…

If everything seems under control,
you’re just not going fast enough.

Mario Andretti

About Kirsten Long

Coach. Toastmaster. Prison-worker. Wife. Mother. Friend.
This entry was posted in awareness, Balance, Feelings, Life Mastery, Visualizing. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Help – I’m out of control


    I think you should let fear go and enjoy the moment, if that is what you want to do to have fun. Some times it is very important to forget our fears and face what makes us shun the best moment we can ever have in life time. If it is possible do not let emotions get the best of you and avoid every thought of danger. Remember
    not regret later.

    • Kirsten Long says:

      Hi Malisha,

      That sounds like advice I myself have given to others! Best I listen to you – I believe you are correct.

      Thanks so much for commenting.
      Take care,

  2. Sharon says:

    This is very exciting. I believe you are afraid because you feel you are too exposed. I have been a passenger all my life, you just have to trust Dave and relax, forget how exposed you are and enjoy the ride. I have been a passenger on a bike too but I used to relax and enjoy the ride because I had confidence in the driver. Do not think of what will happen in a corner just follow the flow and do not hold too tight. I know you will ultimately enjoy it.

    • Kirsten Long says:

      Hi Sharon,

      Yes, YES I do feel so exposed – you are absolutely correct. Trust, relax, faith and flow seem to be the key words I’m getting from you and others. I will honour your comments and other readers’ comments by practicing these things whenever I ride.

      Thank you,

  3. Santhosh H S says:

    Hello Kirsten,

    I hope you still remember me!

    I think you’ll have to get into the source of the problem which is troubling you. Its not only a ride alone. Its something else. Once you sit calmly and think wisely you’ll be able to figure it out.

    Always keep this in mind: Every passenger is nervous to some extent until they reach their own destination. Its so common. But if this nervousness crosses the limit you will not able to enjoy the ride / you cannot live the present. Whether you are nervous / not, if something has to happen, it would definitely happen and no one can stop it.

    Instead of thinking something which is yet to happen, be with the current moment whole and complete – that’s how you’ll enjoy every moment.

    Whenever I go on a ride or excursion, I was also used to be very nervous like you and I started doing one exercise and now I’m fine with it: I think you also can do the same if you get what you want while you go on a ride…

    Before I start my ride / travel / any good thing, I’ll just close my eyes for 2-3mts and tell God that I’m going to do this for such time and XYZ are accompanying me, lets our travel be safe, successful, entertaining and enjoyment to max and let all of us reach our respective homes safely with good health. Then I’ll step ahead. This will make me feel comfortable and helps in tension free ride.

    This is a kind of contentment I’ll have throughout my ride and I feel I have God beside us.

    I hope this will help you out to come out of your problem and lead you to a happy ride.

    Santhosh HS

    • Kirsten Long says:

      Hi Santosh

      YES, of course I remember you! – and it’s wonderful to hear from you after all this time. I hope your life is turning out well for you.

      I was thinking about the wonderful responses I have had to this post last night. I hadn’t read yours yet, but it felt as though I heard you already! I always spend some time before I coach a client preparing myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually – I find this has a huge and positive impact on the way I coach. I was thinking that I should do this before I ride – and then your comment arrived confirming just that. You are so right, as with the other readers, that it’s about finding a way to live in the moment and to be present. I shall certainly do this exercise before I ride next time. Thanks so much for sharing you thoughts.

      Take care and God Bless,

  4. Olaf says:

    I think Jill summed it up well: learn to ride a bike yourself, but don’t try going out of the starting blocks on that big BMW! See if you could consider buying a small bike of about 200 cc and just learn to control it, so that you know how a bike reacts to your inputs. Best to start in an empty car park so that you don’t run the risk of being run over by a taxi or learner car driver. Make sure you are properly attired in case of a fall. Then you should at least be comfortable on the back of the bigger bike, but I’m not sure whether I would advise you to use the small bike to scoot around Jozi for daily errands though!

    • Kirsten Long says:

      Thanks Olaf! It seems like I will have to learn to ride a small bike and we have somewhere where I can do that!

      At least we do not spend too much time in heavy traffic as we only ride on Sunday’s … So that’s a good thing!!!

      And no – I have no plans for running errands on Jozi either…

  5. Jill Blignaut says:

    You have two options.
    1 buy your own bike and ride it yourself. Then you are in control and your husband isn’t having to counter your restrictive movements when he is riding, understand tho that you then lose the advantage of being able to look at the scenery as you have to focus on the road and you lose the physical closeness to your husband and the feeling that you can trust him with your life in his hands.
    2 the alternative is to experience riding the bike on your own until you are comfortable with its capabilities and how much you can lean into a corner without crashing and when you feel more safe, you will make riding with your husband a more pleasurable event for both of you.
    Your mortality is the actual cause of the stress. Make sure your affairs are in order and you have spoken to your children about your choices , and then relax into the benefits of enjoying your independence with your husband.
    Love Jill xxx

    • Kirsten Long says:

      Jill, it’s so great to hear from you!! How are you doing?

      So I am definitely NOT going to buy my own bike! I will have to learn on a smaller bike in a safe place – that I can organize! Thanks for the advice x


  6. Rieta says:

    I think you pretty much summed up most of what needs to be done and the analogy of life was clear, you know the tune and now you need to learn the words! Why would you want to close your eyes to such beauty, why would you not want to experience your surroundings as a cruiser being chauffeured into GOD’s amazingness because if you were driving you would have to concentrate on a the view ahead and no side enjoyments – you would get brief snippets but right now you should be so appreciative that your husband is doing that for you while you are being blessed with being able to enjoy your surroundings. The thrills of bike riding is in the journey and fresh air not only the destination.

    • Kirsten Long says:

      Hi Rieta,

      What you have said makes so much sense! Thank you… You are so right, if I focus on my surrounding and appreciate them, I probably won’t even have time to feel nervous. I will put this into practice on our next ride… Btw that will be in Clarens and there is so much beauty there I can only enjoy!

      Take care and thanks for the wisdom,

  7. Kirsty

    It is all about faith! Faith in David! Faith that you will be safe! Faith that you can relax! and Faith that you are in God’s hands. We fear life more than we embrace and enjoy it. We are never in control, we can only live moment by moment, the past cannot be changed and the future is not ours. So have faith, yes take a deep breath, hold on, but not to tight and appreciate those special moments!

    • Kirsten Long says:

      David! Thanks for the reply and pointing out the aspect of faith. So important…. And that’s something for me to focus on too…

      Take care,

  8. I have exactly the same issue, so when you find the answer please let me know. I thought it was the fact that I have been involved in 2 accidents and the fact that I am over 50 but you are right when I drive I am careful but totally relaxed behind the wheel. When my husband drives I cringe at every corner.

    • Kirsten Long says:

      Hi Lynette,

      Thanks for your reply. Since my sister died in a car accident many years ago, I do have an enormous fear – not so much for myself, but for people I love and care for. So I think you have something there… Of course, logically speaking it doesn’t make sense to be fearful, because millions nd billions of people ride bikes and cars everyday and are fine, but fear is not logical!

      I guess I need to focus on my state of mind and work on chacinging that to a calm and faithful state of mind. I do think that will make a difference.

      Thanks for your input!

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