12/06/2017 - Adele Mitchell blog post

Adele Mitchell

Fear and mountain biking

A Line Demo Day

Our brand ambassador Adele Mitchell has recently written a fantastic blog post about fear and mountain biking. Her post is inspired by Megan Hine's new book, Mind Of A Survivor. In her book she explains how the instinct and skills needed for survival can be applied to ordinary lives.

Adele Mitchell- "Ultimately when we ride we are all chasing ‘the flow’ fix – those moments when your mind and body connect and riding becomes instinctive and effortless “it’s the most beautiful, almost spiritual feeling: a kind of physical enlightenment’ says Hine. But this means pushing ourselves to our limit, and when fear takes over (which it does for me fairly often!), we freeze, don’t think clearly, and are then in more danger. Reassuringly Hine explains that fear is an evolutionary response to a perceived danger and there is nothing impressive about not being scared because that means you don’t know you may be in trouble. Fear is your body’s way of saying something is wrong. To move forward, it's important to control your fear – perhaps using visualisation (I have found this very effective, though it takes practice!), or by pinpointing the cause, accepting it and putting it ‘into a box’."

Cy - Although written from her perspective and based on her experiences, it's a universal theme and one which I (and I'm sure all of us) still battle with, and it's very definitely not just women who have to deal with it. That said, in a male dominated sport it does seem that women do feel more easily intimidated in group ride situations, which I think is a huge shame.

Sam told me how positively the Cafe Adventure Women's Demo had gone the other week, with feedback being that the people who attended felt much less pressure about 'slowing everyone down' and other such things. I guess we all have this to some extent - the playground concerns about fitting in. I know I was put off riding with a group of guys I met not long after moving to Sheffield because they were soooooooooooo much faster than me. They never complained about waiting, and never took the piss, it was all in my head. It's not nice being the one at the back though. All sorts of ego issues wrapped up in it. I ride with them regularly now, and can largely keep up these days (just about), but it took some swallowing of pride and some effort on my part to improve a little to make me comfortable in my own skin with them. Like I say, nothing to do with them or their behaviour (apart from being annoyingly fast and strong on bikes), all in my head...

I hope by discussing it we make you think, and realise, feeling these pressures is OK, and completely normal. We're all here to have fun. As she says, we really don't talk about fear enough.

Read more of Adele's blog post discussing fear here

Read the full blog post here…