Fall Down Often – What BMX Taught Me

The movie RAD has been on my mind over the last couple days.  I follow a bunch of BMX riders and fan sites and lately there have been a lot of posts about the director of the movie RAD, Hal Needham, because he just passed away.  It got me thinking about what I got out of BMX in my elementary and middle school years years.

Fall Down Often

In BMX the way to learn a new trick is to fall down a lot.  You basically fall down for hours, days or weeks working on finding the right balance point for the various parts of the flatland trick.  You lean too far this way and fall.  You try less far and fall.  You lean the other way and fall.  You use your legs more and fall.  You make thousands of tiny corrections and fall down hundreds of times but eventually find your balance and begin to master the trick.   In flatland BMX, you rarely say, “No I’m not going to try to learn that trick because I’ll fall down and hurt myself”.  Instead, you resign yourself to the fact that falling down often is the single most important thing you will do in order to learn something new and achieve mastery of a new goal.

Metaphor For Life

Falling down often is a metaphor for life.  Success never comes without risk.  Mastery never comes without previous failures.  Continuous improvements and changes in approach can eventually lead to success.  I have started several businesses and failed at most of them but I continue to try and I continue to fall down and I will continue to succeed because of it.  I hope my kids can learn the same lessons that I learned from BMX in whatever interests they persue.


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