I had not heard of Travis Pastrana until a few days ago.  If you haven’t heard of him either, he started off racing dirtbikes and also does freestyle, rally car races, and base diving.  He is quite amazing, and I’ve enjoyed learning a little bit about him.

This video montage shows a few of his wipeouts:

It might seem odd that I would post a video of him crashing when there  are so many other spectacular feats of his that I could have chosen, but I think these less successful attempts illustrate some important life lessons.

When we see athletes and performers of any type that really excel, we generally do not see the many hours of practice that preceded the success.  I believe that we (in general) can accomplish amazing things, but we should not deceive ourselves into thinking that worthwhile achievements of any kind come without a price.

Also, what may seem initially as a failure can really be just a stepping stone to success.  Travis probably rarely succeeded on his first attempt.  He tried, learned what went wrong, and continued this process until his jump (or whatever he was attempting) was perfect.  If we want to achieve something great, we should expect to have some setbacks along the way.

And although it isn’t directly related to Travis or the video, relatively few will have Travis’ type of public achievement, but all of us can have significant personal successes.   We can develop great honesty, kindness, and the ability to forgive.  We can excel at being a world-class brother or sister, a gold-medal father or mother, or a champion husband or wife.  After all, can there be a greater achievement than this?