It’s amazing what can prevent us from achieving our goals, I have often learned that it is mainly what goes on in my head and not in my pedals that causes me the biggest problems.
Sometimes the smallest obstacles can cause bigger challenges than harder ones just because of what goes on inside your head.
The narrow downhill under the bridges at Polesdon Lacey has been a struggle for me over the years, first of all I couldn’t tackle the downhill because the gulley at the top put me off, I walked down it 3 times before I overcame that fear and although I always find it nerve wracking and with just cause as many a rider have come off down there not to be seen again for months, but it is more fun by bike than by foot!
After a recent skills day with Jess and Danielle at Singletrack school which boosted my confidence hugely and taught me how much control I could have of my bike, I actually found myself negotiating this downhill with a very friendly dog who wanted to join me and so I needed to go very, very slowly and realised with the right skills and self belief I could do things I had previously thought I would never achieve.
The challenge with this hill I thought was over until I started climbing up it from the other direction and whilst I knew I was fit enough (with the Rookery climb being no problem) my brain had a serious problem with the bricks and gulleys, the steep drop offs at the sides so more worrying while crawling along slowly so I managed to convince myself that I couldn’t do that climb.
Until yesterday, when out with the lovely Femoles we discussed looking at obstacles and then looking ahead and I shared another skill that sits with me now about focussing on looking ahead. Only 10 minutes after sharing that conversation I was facing my demons again and instead of allowing myself to give in to the voice saying “it’s ok you know you can’t do this bit” I looked at the obstacles and thought “forget that now and just look ahead” and before I knew it I was floating over the rubble and roots, over the gulley at the top with the other Femoles who had been kindly trying not to look back at me knowing my weak spot cheering me on and shouting “yeay you did it” 😉
As Dave often says to me identifying adrenalin and recognising what is fear and what is excitement can be difficult and sometimes I find the adrenalin takes over and can become a hindering fear, but with the right encouragement and cycling with friendly and inspiring people just like your bike you can control those anxieties too.
Having not cycled for 2 weeks yesterday’s ride was just what I needed, I feel recharged, re energised and bounced into work on a Monday morning full of all those good endorphins!
So Jess and Danielle another ride in which your training days and words have been carried and shared 😉
And the lovely Femoles were conquering the Surrey Hills yet again 😉