Learn to Look at the Line

“When I was learning how to mountain bike, I was taught to look at the line. No matter how rocky or rooty or hairy or gnarly the trail was, you looked down it and found the path you wanted to follow, your line. And then—and this was key—you looked at the line. Not the obstacles, the line. Especially if you were a klutzy beginner like me, there were no promises that you’d be able to follow the line, but if you looked at the boulder in your path, you were pretty much guaranteed to run straight into it (and yes, I’ve done exactly that, with the tacoed wheel to show for it).

There are an infinite number of dystopian futures that we can fixate on, like rocks in our path. And there’s the lazy nihilism epitomized by ‘LOL we’re fucked’, like taking our bikes and going home.

Or we can, together, learn to look at the line. Because there absolutely is a path through to a better future for everyone, one that’s sustainable and resilient and equitable. But we have to learn to see it, to stay focused on it, and to follow it down. That’s the work.”

—Deb Chachra, “Terraforma Incognita.” Metafoundry, No. 72., June 24, 2019.

Also known as front-site focus. If you don’t focus on what is immediately in front of you, you will never hit what you are aiming at.