Learning how to ride a motorcycle was one of the hardest things I have ever done! I have often reflected on why it was so much more physically challenging than any workout I had ever experienced. Here’s what I determined: It was all in my approach, or – as we say in academia – the curriculum.
You see, our first day of learning to maneuver the bike, we were told to keep it in neutral. If you know anything about motorcycles, that means we basically had the weight of the bike working against us. I could feel all 500 pounds of the machine as I tried to become comfortable with important details of riding, like balance, gear shifting, and the various mechanical aspects of the bike.
The next day, we were introduced to first gear. Wow! What a difference that made. In first gear, suddenly, the bike did some of the work for me! I no longer had to wrestle the bike to move forward or feel the weight of walking the bike forward in a line of learners. Now, I could begin to add on to the learning of the previous day. Yes, I was still sore from the first day’s lesson. Yes, I was still terrified of the repercussions of that Harley Street 500 falling on me. But now, in first gear, I could take my sore muscles and new knowledge and focus on the feeling of actually riding that bike.
Learning as an adult is kind of like learning to ride that motorcycle. At first, it’s a little scary and potentially a bit painful. You wonder how all of the people around you have done this with obligations and limitations similar and different from yours. That first class, that first step that you take in working your mind will produce brain cramps and soreness, but as you stick with it, you will begin to feel the anticipation of more. You will have the desire to experience your existing surroundings with new perspective and to take your new found knowledge for a spin in new places – explore new territory.
No matter your reason for wanting to expand your reach through continued learning, despite the initial fear, despite the potential “soreness,” think about what Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Learning never exhausts the mind.”
Join us! Let’s go full throttle and learn something together!