Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bike Lessons = Life Lessons

Last week as we rode around on the slickrock in Moab, I repeated a few mantras to myself. These lessons are so simple, but they have really helped me improve my skills and have a lot more fun biking. They are my mountain biking mantras, but as I repeated them, Andrew pointed out that bike lessons = life lessons.

Think about what you want to happen, not what you don't want to happen. Instead of thinking about not falling, I focus on how I want to ride - confident, calm and relaxed. I trust my understanding of my skills and my sense of judgement. It's a simple shift, but it helped me ride trails that I didn't even dream of trying a few months ago. When we focus energy on what we want to do, it's more likely to happen. 

Keep your eyes focused on where you want to go. If I try to avoid a particular rock, I always end up riding right toward it. If I keep my eyes focused on the route that I want to ride, I am much more likely to steer in my intended direction. This mantra has also helped me be smarter about the lines I pick because I'm looking for where I want to go rather than what I want to avoid. It's easier to look further down the trail and see the bigger picture beyond that one rock.

It's all about putting in the hours. Sometimes I feel discouraged because I can't ride a particular section of trail, and then I remind myself that I have only been riding seriously for a few months. I've put in a lot of hours this summer, and I have improved incredibly. To continue to do so, I just need to keep putting in the hours. It's easy to compare myself to other riders on the trail or to Andrew, who has been biking since he was a child, but when it comes down to it, those riders are better because they've put in more hours practicing. 

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Hey, thank you!

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