Crash and Burn…And Get Back Up

by Lance Ekum on · 74 comments

Pass only at your own risk
Creative Commons License photo credit: Vicki & Chuck Rogers

“When you play it too safe, you’re tak­ing the biggest risk of your life. Time is the only wealth we’re given.” ~ Bar­bara Sher

What are you up to today? 


Are you play­ing it safe?  Are you doing what you’ve always done?  Are you tow­ing the com­pany line?  Are you doing what’s expected?

And how does that make you feel?  Really and deeply, how do you feel about that?

Per­haps it is good.

Per­haps, though…you feel some twinge to be more authen­tic to who you really are.

There’s this one lit­tle thing, though.

“The great­est mis­take you can make in life is to con­tin­u­ally be afraid you will make one.” ~ Elbert Hubbard


Will you crash, will you stum­ble and look fool­ish?  Will you some­how fail?


Yes, you will.  You WILL have some things that just don’t go the way you’re hop­ing.  And that may feel painful for a while. 

There is good there, though.  It is most def­i­nitely there.  Believe it.

And Nature Speaks to Us
Let me share a per­sonal expe­ri­ence that hap­pened.  Recently, I was in Ari­zona, with my old­est son and a cousin on mine.  We were there to do some moun­tain bik­ing (and jeeping…which was a whole lot of fun…although it doesn’t relate to this story). 

None of us are expert moun­tain bik­ers.  So, we chose to do an inter­me­di­ate trail (because we hap­pen to some­times let our heads get a lit­tle big­ger than they should…) in the beau­ti­ful and scenic Sedona area of Ari­zona.  This trail proved to be chal­leng­ing for us, although still also do-able (well…there were moments where we were won­der­ing about that, too…). 

…back to the story.

We had been out for sev­eral hours, out in the back­coun­try of this beau­ti­ful locale.  And we approached a flat, easy bik­ing area (note:  there weren’t a lot of these areas on the trail we had cho­sen!).  I hap­pened to be the lead biker at the time (how I had taken that position…I’m not sure!!)

Around a cor­ner I came, and was greeted by a large flat rock area…that dropped off to another large flat rock area. 

The few peo­ple we’d seen on our way out (we were com­ing back at this time) had walked their bikes down from one rock area to the next. 

I was sure I could land it…that I could jump from one sur­face down to the next, with­out walk­ing my bike. (do you see my bril­liance shin­ing through????)

The next thing I remem­ber, I am slid­ing across the lower rock, face down.  Mean­while my bike is upon these rocks, some dis­tance behind me. 

After com­ing to a stop, I slowly (very slowly!) stood up.  One glove is ripped, and my hand is swollen.  My chest hurts.  I cau­tiously walk back to my bike.  My son, Jakob, explains to me how he came around the cor­ner to see me fly­ing through the air (I don’t remem­ber that part…I just remem­ber skid­ding across that rock after *crash* land­ing!).  He, after see­ing this, decides to walk his bike down the rocks! (he’s good with lessons like that!)

Any­way, I came away with a badly bruised hand, and what I think is a cracked rib.
[Note:  Please do not use any of this infor­ma­tion as med­ical advice.  What I did should have prob­a­bly involved a trip to the near­est med­ical center.]

And I got back on that bike.  Back on, and we rode for sev­eral hours after that.

Was I less care­free after that?  Per­haps, yes.  (I was well aware of my hand and chest at this point!) 

How­ever, I was also more aware of my sur­round­ings.  I was see­ing these rocks in a new light.  The trail became more real.  The obstacles…something I put more focus on.  And in all, a greater appre­ci­a­tion for the nat­ural sur­round­ings all around me.

Back to The Day to Day of Liv­ing
What hap­pens when we take a chance?  When we try some­thing new?  When we “jump off that cliff”

Some­times, some pretty amaz­ing and won­der­ful things happen.

And sometimes…some very chal­leng­ing things hap­pen, too. 

Sometimes…we fail. 

…or so it appears.

What if.

What if we choose to get back up, brush our­selves off, and get back on that bike that’s tak­ing us down the trail of life?

When we do this — we can soar to new heights!!  We can, because we are look­ing now with new eyes, at what before our tak­ing of this “chance”, was just a pos­si­bil­ity.  So, even when we fail, when we fal­ter, when we fall — there are still such great, great things we can come from this!

“I failed my way to suc­cess.” ~ Thomas Edison

Take a chance.  Do some­thing a bit out of your com­fort zone.  Live your life!


Because tomor­row is no guarantee.

I’m look­ing to leap here in this space, too.  More on this in the com­ing months, as it all comes together.  Rest assured, that this place will still exist, although I’m ready to move toward Jun­gle 2.0.  And there might even be some crashes along the way.  I’m look­ing for­ward to it all (I fig­ure it can’t be as painful as my chest feels right now!!).

Lance writes sto­ries from his heart, aim­ing to inspire and moti­vate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he’s not here, you can find him hang­ing out with his fam­ily, rid­ing a bike, or just gen­er­ally act­ing goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Tree­house newslet­ter and get addi­tional inspi­ra­tion in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
View all posts by Lance Ekum

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