August 6, 2009: Progression

Mt. Hutt, New Zealand – Today was a good day. We were up on the hill by 9am and just freerode, focusing on a strong upper body. I maintained my focus of keeping my arms down and forward and it’s starting to come along well. I’m almost at the point where I don’t have to consciously think about it so hard, but I do need a lot more time practicing it until it becomes second nature. It’s hard (and frustrating) to have to change your style of riding, one that you’ve been accustomed to for the past ten years. I’m just bummed that I didn’t change it before.

In the middle of the day my coach said that I was keeping my arms down about 70% of the time so I just need to find the consistency and naturalness of always keeping them down and forward. But I saw it again that the less arm movement I have, the more focus and time and positioning I have for actually turning the board with my lower body. Three quarters of the day through he said I was doing a great job with disciplining myself in the arms but I needed to carve more. I was a little distraught because I thought I was carving. I really had to consciously keep myself out of the mental rut of not riding well and just focus on doing my best and learning to get better.

Then in the flat section he said that I was riding well and that my body position was good. Okay, great. I know that I can do it, I just have to get over the fear of steeper sections and do it there too. So that was comforting. On the next steep section I went for it with more aggression and while I felt more out of control he said that I was more committed. Another good.

I just need to trust myself and know that I can do it. A part of me today was afraid of falling and getting hurt. Not sure what that was all about. I guess it’s just the insecurity of not having my arms out there already to brace a fall, but I know that my out there arms are probably what causes me to fall. But overall a productive day. My arm positioning is getting better and I’m getting more comfortable with that riding position and am testing the speed with it. So I’m happy. I can say that I did my best today.

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