I am going mountain biking tomorrow with some of my best kayaking friends. This is definitely one of my favorite things to do- getting outside of our primary comfort zone and enjoying the outdoors in a different way with the same people. One thing that I have always found interesting about pursuing all of the different sports that we are able to do in the mountains is their commonalities. There are a few concepts that transcend the specific sport and allow us to switch from one to the other with greater ease than your average person off of the street. Here are a few:
1) Look where you want to go, and don’t look where you don’t want to go.
2) Elevate your vision.
3) Spot your landing.
4) Stay aggressive.
5) Trust your judgement and commit.
It’s amazing how these basic concepts can eliminate so much trial and error when we’re ripping down the mountain, river, or trail. I love the feeling of scouting out a line, trusting my abilities, and going for it. There really is nothing more fun than sending it with your best buds, and it doesn’t really matter the setting.
One thing that I have found to hold true between sports is that once an athlete has pushed it to a certain level in one sport, their confidence is much higher, and they are willing to take other sports to a high level much more readily. These theories and the confidence that arises when executed properly make us stronger, more capable individuals.
These ideas can apply to more practical settings as well. I have found myself sliding out on snow in my car and subconsciously applying the brake control and countersteering that I do when drifting my mountain bike. I also realized afterwards that we deal with quick reaction situations every day on the river, and as a result my heart rate and adrenaline stayed in check during that driving experience.
The confidence in yourself and your abilities also applies to every aspect of real life. Whether that challenge manifests itself through school or business challenges, breaking the ice with the opposite sex, or making any of life’s complicated decisions, the ability to flip the switch and say “I am doing this” is a valuable skill.
My thought process is wandering here, but I am psyched to hit the trails with everyone. Hopefully I’m not jinxing us with this article, but I predict that all of these kayaking rippers will style the downhill tracks and find themselves being drawn into another expensive hobby!