Listening to your body but ignoring the bull-shit (Mt. Hotham club day)

(This post contains a little header message… It’s a warning to my mum; please ignore the naughty words like I ignore my body!)

Jens Voight, 2006Those who know cycling and know this man, will understand why I include his image at the start of this post.  Jens Voigt has made the phrase “Shut up legs” famous, and he’s the man I think of when it comes to ignoring the bullshit – albeit my climb up Hotham yesterday ensured some more lateral thinking…

Shut-Up-Legs-TshirtI’ve had some significant lessons lately, one of which I covered here when I struggled to even see the trail after bonking on the mountain bike out at Smiths Gully.  I did the same again a few days later when on the way home from King Lake with 5k to go, I nearly had to stop pedaling due to hunger-flat fatigue.

HTFU

Had I been with mates and it was them and not me who was suffering, I would have pulled this one out (right) but the experiences reminded me about how little you can do when you fail to plan and you allow your body to be starved of all energy… no matter how much concrete you ingest.

I’ve decided I’m happy with this stupidity for now.  I’m putting a big effort into shedding a few kilos and if that’s the price to pay then I’m pretty satisfied and it’s a bonus for me to be reminded of the consequences of poor nutrition.  I now know the dangers of making such mistakes on enduro mountain bike races or torture-fests such as the Alpine Classic and I’m confident of my planning for such rides.

This topic has got me thinking about the fine balance we seek when riding at a reasonably high level.  You certainly have to listen to your body; we were made with some very complex warning systems – hunger-flat and it’s consequences being one of them – but you can’t listen to and heed them all.  If we did that we wouldn’t achieve much and it’s those who listen to every little message who I can’t tolerate; I should save the concrete for them and not my rather strong cycling mates.  ; )

Hence the requirement to occasionally ask your body this little rhetorical question…

listening to your body5… I certainly did yesterday as I chased Dutchy up those last pinches on Mt. Hotham.

listening to you body4And I’d never noticed these signs (left) scattered all over the slopes of Hotham before… but they came in handy as my mind attempted to cope with the 12+% gradient of CRB Hill.  What a bitch that is!

The thing is though… CRB, The Meg, Diamantina, that pinch away from the ticket box?… They all felt pretty good yesterday when I cleared my mind and found my tempo.  It was my most enjoyable climb up Hotham yet and when you’re with the club, it’s all the more enjoyable when you get down to Dinner Plain for that well-earned and much-desired coffee.  It was a great day –

– and it’s all simply about finding the right balance…

balance

Check some flicks from yesterday; 42 riders on the route out to Harrietville.  Cycling is alive and well in the north east…

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