By Peta Liston Owens

Part 3   “Pick Your Line”

The trail was laid out like a dusty red carpet for us. The White Rim is an old jeep road left over from the uranium-rush in the 1950s and cattle ranching prior to the park’s establishment. As a result, desolate dirt roads can be found far from anything in the midst of the 527-square miles of Canyonlands National Park.

While the White Rim trail showed us the way—at times weaving along the edge of a mesa with vertigo views of red-rock skyscrapers or meandering through sage, yucca cacti, and late autumn bloomers—it still required navigation skills. Certain parts of the trail were rocky and jutted. They required a solid grip on the handlebars and a strict focus on the line you were picking to travel through this mini obstacle course. No time to hesitate or second-guess yourself on two spinning wheels. These moments of decisiveness followed by a commitment to the path you’ve picked came up again and again on the trail.

Picking a line and following it in life can require even more discipline and attention. I’ve interviewed many successful people who had met failures and obstacles on their path to becoming a doctor or an author or a mother or a paralympian or an artist. Some of the obstacles thrown their way would have stopped me—obstacles far bigger than rocks and efforts that required following “lines” lasting years in order to achieve their goals and dreams. Hard work, discipline, and regularly kicking thoughts of self-doubt out of the thought-factory all came into play.