Ride of Passage

Tenzing Mountain Biking is Pacific Spirit Park

As rights of passage go, I consider this a big one. With this afternoon’s frosty sunshine filtering through the forest of Pacific Spirit Park, Zing went for his first mountain bike ride.

3 Responses to “Ride of Passage”

  1. 1 Marvin 21 November 2007 at 7:59 pm

    What a great picture! Look at the expression on his face. He is one great kid. We’re lucky and he sure is enjoying himself. But is he showing bravery or courage (or either)?

    I still have reservations about differentiating between courage and bravery and relying on the body healing itself so I don’t fully buy into that dialectic. I guess it depends on where the focus is directed –Courage or bravery? Or risk analysis? — and also depends on an unstated assumption that there is no residual after healing. If he were to break a bone and if the fracture went through a growth center and if he were to wind up with, say, a shorter leg, the body wouldn’t exactly heal itself and it wouldn’t make much difference if he was too courageous or too brave. So there.

  2. 2 mbjesq 21 November 2007 at 10:19 pm


    The distinction I make is between courage and fearlessness. I define the former as the ability to face-down fear, and the latter as being unburdened by trepidation in the first-place. The fearless person has no need of bravery.

    I admire the courageous, though I’ve never been particularly brave myself. As for fearlessness, it’s not something for which I can take a whole lot of credit; I was simply born that way. And it has been perhaps the single most important aspect of my character for determining the magnificent experiences and adventures my life has embraced.

    As Yogi Berra counseled, it’s better to be lucky than good. Fearlessness is lucky. Bravery is good.

    I hope that Zing will grow up fearless, which is why I ask adults to refrain from exressing or projecting their own fears in his presence. But if not, I at least hope he has the strength to be brave. Otherwise, much of the joy and beauty of the world will simply be off-limits to him.


  3. 3 rome 7 December 2007 at 2:17 am

    First of all, that is an amazing place, I wish I could go cycling anywhere similar.
    He looks very smily and serene to me…He is maybe used to that place therefore there is nothing to be scared of. Although I do agree with you about the distinction you made between courage and fearlessness and that is what I am trying to teach mi son as well.

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