“ The principle of persistence is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” Steve Young
Going into the 3rd month of journaling #myjoberg2c journey it makes me aware of the concept of persistence.
When you work on any big goal, your motivation can wax and wane. Sometimes you’ll feel motivated; sometimes you won’t. But it’s not your motivation that will produce results — it’s your action. The decision to persist. To make progress even when you don’t feel like it.
I have started re-reading my diary entries with everything that has crossed my path since the 1st January 2020 and my goodness it has been a roller coaster of a time. I realised that I haven’t diarised the difficult times very much. The days of not being motivated enough to get out of bed at 5am to train, the days where I hit walls 2.5km into my afternoon run. The days where the cookie monster appears and the diet goes out of the window, the days where you questions your fitness & ability to actually do this… oh yes, there have been those days!
But then again I have also realised it has been 2 months of persistence, about bettering myself in as many ways as possible to make my end goal of riding and enjoying @joberg2c a reality.
I rode The Sabie Classic 2 weekends ago and it was not all sunshine & roses…in fact it was more 65km of rain clouds and mud and boy do they grow those mountains big out there!
It was a very physical and very mental ride for me and I had loads of conversations with my negative self and my positive self along the way. There were times when I felt I should be pushing harder and going faster but my legs actually couldn’t physically do any more. There were times where I was counting down the km’s wanting the ride to finish and if I hit another hill I wouldn’t be able to ride it. There were times that I was so tired when I got to a downhill that I couldn’t rest because it was too technical, wet and slippery that I had to physically work hard to stay on the bike. This wasn’t always the case as I had a high speed fall that has left bruises on my body so blue that when I went for a wax the other day, my beautician looked at me wondering if she should call the police and report a case of physical abuse. Luckily I have been with her for years and she knows my extra mural activities and me well enough to shake her head and remind me that I am 40 years old… LOL!
But then I had moments when I powered away up hills passing other riders (which rarely happens) and moments where I flew past riders down technical and challenging sections. I was reminded of the beauty of the area we were riding in and not taking it to heart when another rider passed me. For those of you who have ridden this race will know the dreaded Mamba switchbacks which feel never ending – I managed to ride further up the switchbacks than I have ever ridden before which made me smile!
Conversations of “this is your race Lindsey, don’t worry about not going faster” and “just keep peddling Lindsey, don’t stop” and distracting myself from the almost 25km of continuous uphill we had at the beginning of the ride by counting my breaths and chatting to whoever I found myself with at that moment – I got to the end.
It wasn’t always pretty out there and there was a bit of walking too but I managed to finish 2nd vet lady and 3rd overall in the woman which gave me motivation to carry on persisting to achieve #mjoberg2c goal.
A few weeks back I spent a morning with Victoria Rose from ridelikeagirlmtbskills www.masteringmtbskills.com focussing on 3 main skills which really helped me in the Sabie Classic this year. The skill of riding technical ups and starting on steep uphills dominated in this race. By making small adjustments to my body position while riding a technical up made a world of difference. Approaching the hill, I got into an easier gear and moved my body weight forward so that my shoulders are almost in front of the bars of my bike, chest low and elbows bent out almost pulling the handle bars towards my chest and crouching forward almost hovering on the saddle so that the weight on my front wheel was just enough to keep traction on the front wheel and stop it from bouncing around which created control of the wheel so that my line was smooth. The key is to also keep looking far ahead so that you can choose a line well ahead of time.
Climbs like the Mamba switch backs are toughies! I had 2 stops on this climb, one unintentional and the other my legs just couldn’t anymore! Starting again on a steep hill is a skill on it’s own. I used to have to push my bike to a flattish spot, drop my seat post down and then start again. Victoria took me through the steps of starting on a steep hill without having to have to drop seat posts and all that jazz. The basics go like this. Keep both your brakes locked. Try get into the saddle if you can as it does make it a lot easier but with short legs like mine – it is a bit of a challenge. Get your foot up into the power position (1 o’clock). Get your chest nice and low to keep that front wheel from popping up, especially if it’s a steep climb. Look far up and keep your eyes on where you want to be. At the same time, power down with your foot and release the brakes. Get your other foot on, continue pedalling, look up and don’t stop until you reach the top!
The video clips flattens the hill out loads so you can’t really get an idea of the gradient that we were riding on but I finally got it right and this made a world of difference to my ride this past weekend!
Victoria was or I can say is amazing to ride with. Her patience and way of explaining made the understanding and completing of the skill so easy. Don’t get me wrong, it took a few tries (it felt like 100 hill repeats) but I got it after a while and I encourage everyone to sign up for one of her skills clinics, no matter what your experience or fitness is. The difference it makes to your riding and understanding why you need to do certain things in whatever environment you find yourself riding in, it makes riding fun and that’s why we do it!
On the nutrition side of things, I’ve had good days and I have had bad days and I have had cheat days but all in all I feel good! I had issues getting to my food during the Sabie classic which needs a bit of fine tuning. If it was because I actually couldn’t take my hands off the handle bars, it was because my back pack was preventing me from getting to my food during the ride. The cycling tops that I’ll be riding in have small pockets and the back pack was covering the pockets and getting to my food was a challenge which made me stress a bit.
I’ll need to re-adjust things to make this work for #myjoberg2c. I don’t really like riding with a back pack – it makes me feel a bit claustrophobic and hot but my small LIV frame only allows for one 500ml water bottle and I have a dropper post so can’t attach a bottle cage on my seat post so I don’t have a choice here, I will need to find a way of riding with a back pack and have food in my pockets at the same time.
Anyway, it’s just a matter of persistence and keeping on moving forward – both on the bike and in life!
24th February – 9th March
Mountain Biking : 159 km
Indoor Cycling : 1 hour 40 minutes
Running : 40.76km
Pee Squats : 240
Total Training summary from 1st January 2020
Mountain Biking : 844.15km
Indoor Cycling : 7 hours 32 minutes
Running : 231.72km
Pee Squats : 1760
Weight loss : To be updated
Yours in adventure
"To me, old age is always 20 years older that I am… sorry to everyone that’s 60! The older I get, my life gets more and more adventurous and I am absolutely loving it! Being 40 is knowing what I want, who I am and proud of what I have become. I am a partner to the most amazing guy, mother (well, step mom really but I don’t like that description) to Kim who’s turning 12, a very grateful entrepreneur of a bustling catering company which has grown into a healthy happy business over the last 5 years, I am a friend, a sister, an aunt and a daughter… I am who I have made myself into and I love it! I started riding in 2012 and it fast became a part of me… the personal challenges it brings, the smile I get after achieving, the social side of it, the chance to exhale after a busy week – you don’t need a therapist if you ride a bicycle, especially if it’s a mountain bike!"
“The fun begins where the tar ends”
joberg2c is riding the off-roads less travelled and trails never travelled across four provinces of South Africa. It is sharing a passion for mountain biking with those who love riding. The communities, the trails, the landscapes and the feast of flavours all conspire to make this a journey for the soul. for more info visit their website: https://www.joberg2c.co.za/