Living in the Red Zone

I love riding motorcycles, especially on a smooth, winding canyon road in the middle of a nature-scented summer evening. On a motorcycle, on the odometer that measures the engine’s RPMs, there is a red zone. When you rev the throttle, and the needle for the RPMs increases to the line where the black meets the red, you are said to be red-lining the bike. The black zone is safe. The red zone is not. That’s not to say that anything will definitely happen in the red zone, but it might.

As I’ve lived my life, I’ve continually tried to push myself to the red zone, to stretch my possibilities and capabilities, my thoughts and feelings, and daringly slip into the unknown. Perhaps it’s the adrenaline due to the fear of the unknown. Perhaps its knowing that I’ve surpassed what I previously thought was possible. Perhaps it was plain stupidity or ignorance. Regardless of the motivation, it has created an excitement-filled life replenished with adventure, and filled with the unexpected.

As we evaluate our path and our direction, perhaps we should ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Do I always take the safe road?
  • Do I let fear stop me from doing things that I might like to do?
  • Am I always pushing myself in all aspects of my life, to grow, learn, and develop?
  • Do I know what I’m really capable of achieving?
  • Do I really know where my boundaries are? Am I playing so far down in the black zone that I’m missing out on not only the red zone, but much of the safe, black zone as well?
  • What’s the worst that can happen if I were to dance in the red zone?

We only have one scene on life’s stage. How do we choose to perform?