Friday, July 9, 2010

Amara - "the hill climber"

The Cycle U experience has been a blast so far, since starting a little over a month ago I am already involved in just about everything. I am teaching outdoor classes, doing private lessons, working in the shops and perfecting my mechanic skills.

However, I should have figured that Craig wanted to make me into a climber. Since working here the only classes I have taught have been hill climbing classes or bootcamps. If you know me or my riding style you know that I am a sprinter, I love the track and flat races. Ever since I started racing and riding 10 years ago hills have been a challenge for me. Whether it was weight, power, or mental issues I have never performed well in a race with a hill in it.

Teaching the hill climbing classes have made me realize how much climbing is all in your head. Sometimes in races I will find myself already at the back when a hill is approaching and I have mentally given up before it starts. When I am helping the bootcamp cadets or the other students I am assuming a climbing role and I am actually climbing well and enjoying it. I know that I can climb, I have the muscles and the form I just need to make the connection in my brain that I LOVE HILLS! Too often there is this stigma that you either love hills or you hate them, for too long I have been in the later category. Everything you do has a large mental component and climbing is one for lots of people that is hard. A few things that I am working on is forcing myself to stay in the zone mentally, tricking my brain by making smaller goals up hill, and having positive self talk when climbing.

I don't know if I will be winning any uphill TT's or hilly road races but I can tell you that I will be more mentally prepared for the hills.