The thrill of letting go

The sun has gone down, and it’s new moon. You are riding a bike downhill a serpentine road patterned by patches of gravel and potholes. The headlamp you are wearing is not designed for this. You only see what’s in front of you when it may be too late.

So you slow down and take it easy. But gravity works on you. You feel its pull and you can’t help but give in a little. You let go of the breaks but slow down again when you feel it’s getting out of control.

You take the next bend and it’s getting even steeper. You feel fear as you accelerate but the thrill of storming down the hill in the face of the unknown has touched you. Soon, you hit the tipping point and the fear you felt is now pure thrill. Moments ago there was fear, now there is only joy, a sense of freedom and acceptance. And you keep riding in the dark.

You are not suicidal. If you spot a pothole, you’ll dodge it if you can. But you know that you may not be able to and that’s not a problem.

What turned fear into joy from one moment to another? It had to be letting go.

Letting go is not something you do, it happens when the conditions are right. When it becomes clear that holding on and trying to stay in control is not possible, then letting go happens.

It’s a beautiful experience. You don’t necessarily need a bike to have it.

Photo by Tanner Larson.