I went riding today. With the intension that I would get a head start this year on trying to get back to my previous level of skill. It was a lot of fun. I almost forgot the high you get when you push yourself into doing something you know you are capable of but are afraid to do. It feels good. I guess my big problem is not so much in getting back my skill or strength, but the fear of crashing or getting hurt.
How did I come to have all this fear of things I know I am capable of doing? I think about that a lot and the only conclusion I can come up with is that I have spent far too long NOT riding all the time. When you ride everyday and ride hard you are always falling always getting up and most of the time trying again. When you fall a lot, you realize a couple of things. One, falling sucks and it hurts. Two, falling is just not as bad as we all make it out to be. I hear people say this and sometimes I even say it. "As we get older falling hurts more and the injuries heal slower". I agree with your injuries healing slower but falling hurts just the same. You are just tougher when you can clearly remember what falling feels like. You know the worst part of a bad fall is the fear you have when you know you are fucked. The impact and pain are all things that you deal with. Fear is the scary part you can never seem to control. FEAR IS THE WORST PART. With that said, why I am afraid of fear? WTF? That doesn't even make sense.
I talk about my bike a lot and here is my reason. When you have a great bike, it helps you gain great confidence. Confidence is the true anti-fear. Because I am not currently confident in my own skills or my ability to control my fear I have purchased confidence. It helps a lot. The first day I rode this year I did a couple of things I wouldn't have thought I'd even try till much later in the season. First day, the bike was a major part of that. I started small and the bike didn't even seem fazed. I went bigger and the bike still never gave me any sign that I was pushing anything. I went as big as I had ever gone at that particular place. Bike just looked at me and said "Is that all you got?". On top of me actually pulling something reasonably big first ride of the year (even if I used the bike as a crutch), I felt my fear of falling mellow a little. Awesome, I am stoked to ride and I hope I get to ride this year a lot. If you know me and you want to ride call me anytime. I will be down to ride unless my bike is broken or I am working.