fiery temper

so I started about 4 months ago and I have made NO progress. I just recently broke my uni by smashing repeatedly on the ground and stomping it, so needless to say I have taken a break. I am not financially stable so this might be the end of this for me, but that is neither here nor there.

my question is how people stand failure? in others I can just say “its okay, just keep trying” but I view my failure as unacceptable, to the point that I can’t sleep until I succeed. even now, due to my lack of a uni, I hate myself for not being able to ride. I hate myself for not being able to control my darker side and destroying the one thing I own.

many people say “if you hate to uni so much, why not quit?”, to this I have only one response “I don’t hate it, I hate myself for not being enough”. I used to skateboard a long time ago, then I broke both my legs; it goes without saying that I was devastated, I had to quit and I almost gave up on life. for some dumb reason I didn’t, and a year ago I found my solace in juggling. after years of darkness I found one thin sliver of light; even though juggling saved me, I still find myself falling into the same doubt and pain that has almost took my life so many times.

I’m sure I seem like a butt-hurt self absorbed little bitch ranting uselessly at my computer, but damnit I try. I have a thousand times rolled failure off my shoulder and thrown myself back in the ring, but every time I do it gets harder to want to continue this madness. I watch videos with people saying “just do this and it’ll happen” and I find it maddening to see children of 5 and 50 year olds doing something that I find impossible.

/self-loathing rant

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To preface this, you should probably go talk to a professional about this, or try and work on these things with a close friend or family member. Extreme anger really isn’t that healthy for you, and while you may be finding ways to let it out, it’s probably best to start looking for a solution.

But! I didn’t come here to not answer your question. To an extent I have had your problem, except with other things. Uni-cycling was very much so just a random thing that i started doing, and now absolutely adore. While some of the harder things I try and do leave me flustered, I just come back to it later, if it really comes down to it. Some people even use their anger to continue on, and try and work harder and harder. But that is more of a personality trait that you or I can’t work on, and I kinda lucked out to have it work out for me in uni-cycling.

The most important thing though is that you have fun, and if you have tried for four months to try and ride, and have gotten too frustrated then continue, then I say you should go try something else. At the very least, take a break (which I see you have), and come back to it when your mood is better, and you feel that you can get into it and not get angry again.

I assure you though, if you get to the point where you come back, and find the will-power to continue trying, then you’ll definitely feel probably the best in your life. To accomplish something that you have spent 4+ months trying to do, will definitely give yourself a huge boost in confidence, and perhaps a fire will be ignited to continue on, and you’ll grow a passion for it.

sweet disharmony

big quote :3 . I believe I was misunderstood. so, starting at the top; the allopathic solution is to sell you drugs that make you stupid, but I didn’t take the time to respond just to counterpoint you.

I did, in a stroke of luck, get my torker fixed. I believe that if I reduce my practice time from 5-9 hours a day to only one or two, I will reduce the amount of stress significantly. I also have a local gym that I will be going to to help improve my physique and by doing so improve my vision of self worth. I’m going to beat this one wheeled beast, or die trying.

I can be a bit melodramatic at times and I’m prone to ramble, but I feel my statements cannot be understood without proper context. after a point I just explode, everything “goes red” and I’m not really in control anymore. I’ve lost too many times in my life to want to let it happen again.

after I lost my ability to skate and nearly lost my ability to walk, I used drugs heavily for years as I watched the ones I loved be destroyed by them. I was given a second chance, I’m still not sure I deserve to live anymore than them but I was the one who survived. because, for whatever reason, I lived and I now demand more from myself. I refuse to be the self-defeating broken coward I was; I’m still not perfect and I fall back into old patterns all the time, but I try every day to change.

I just sort of decided one day that unicycle was cool and that I want to learn to ride; having never learned to ride a bike, this seemed like an insurmountable task. I watched every video on YouTube in the weeks it took to attain a unicycle, thinking it would help me understand. the first day I got my uni I spent all day clinging hopelessly to a fence, something I still do, and I finally collapsed at 2 in the morning. the next day I did the same, and every day that followed I pushed myself to the edge fruitlessly. after two weeks had past I began to grow tired of the lack of progress, bitter that others did it so effortlessly. I know the value of practice, I learned to juggle over course of a year and now I can make practiced performers look like bumbling fools. I learned to contact juggle, something I am proud of, and now I make it look as effortless as if I was born with it. I used to be, a pro level skateboarder before I broke both of my legs. I know that if I just keep at it I can do anything, and I cling to that; however, knowing something and living it are two separate matters.

I believe I should reword my question; how do you respond to failure, and, how do you handle frustration?

I like CampinSam’s reply, but I could add one thing based on my experience. Everyone is different when it comes to learning. Some can hop on it and learn in an afternoon. I didn’t feel like I was that person when I started a couple years ago. Therefore, I did about 5 to 10 minutes at a time a couple times a day. It probably took me a month to learn, but I was persistent with my short periods of learning.
By doing that, I was developing the muscle memory that I needed to obtain the balance necessary riding. When you start back, you could try shorter periods. When I try too long at something and get upset, I find it is time to stop. Any further effort has just the opposite effect on learning the task.
By the way, I am impressed with your juggling ability. I can do simple juggling but never progressed to anything else.

I got to say, I think you’re crazy as a shit house rat.
I don’t care about your drama in the littlest bit.
Now if you have some interesting Uni news then share,
other wise shut the hell up.
Geeeez lighten up. life is good.

jona, that reply very inappropriate and if you really felt that way just keep it to yourself

anyway sometimes i have your problem but never with unicycling. when i was builing a dog kennel i got so angry i repeatedly smashed the hammer into the wood until it had holes in ii
i think you should stop watching so many vids cos they make it look so easy and when you learn how hard it is you will feel like a failure. also dont practice the same trick for too long because you will lose concentration and get frustrated. i usually do 30 mins of unispin and then go back to something easier like learning to idle or just ride around the house for a little while. 9 hours of unicycling a day is waaay too much take breaks in between and watch some tv.

What the hell is up with you? keep it to yourself buddy :angry:

don’t feed the troll

thank you for posting something relevant. :3

I don’t watch tv, and I don’t play video games, so once I’m physically exhausted I watch youtube and do research. normally I stick to tutorials, but with unicycle I’ve found most tutorials useless and I’ve been forced to learn more or less on my own. I don’t sleep the way most people do, and I find idle time unbearable so the only times I’m really happy is when I’m active. I do tend to loose sight of the time I’ve put forth in practicing all of my many “talents” (skills that require practice). I used to do 12 hour practice sessions when I skateboarded so 9 hours is like child’s play.

I have been seeing a lot of improvement by reducing my practice to only one hour at a time, a handful of times a day. today I went about 15 feet unassisted, much better than I’ve done so far; it almost inspires confidence.

I’ve been compiling a list of things that I had to learn for myself, and sooner or later I’m going to do a video tutorial explaining the things that others have not. maybe I can make the learning process a little less frustrating for someone else.

I handle my frustration by trying harder… it works most of the time… :smiley:

almost missed this one.

awesome positive attitude, somewhere on the inside I hate you for it, but I know I’m not supposed to be like that. thank you for taking the time to actually read my post and responding with relevant content; also, thank you for the complement. I really do respect people who know when to take a break, I’m still working on it (hence this thread :3 ).

I have never had anything come easy for me, or more so, I’ve never done anything that came easy to me; I love a challenge and I love to overcome insurmountable odds, this commonly leads to me going overboard with practice and pushing myself too hard.

Read your reply again and if you really cant ride a bike and you are trying to learn to ride the unicycle I think I found your problem.

but to answer this new question, I handle frustration by watching a movie, you say you dont like TV but trust me watching a comedy (friends, HIMYM) really makes you forget about stuff. But if you start feeling a LITTLE angry just STOP unicycling and go back inside. because when you are frustrated you tend to lose focus and it will just keep getting worse

Though a bit unrelated, I barely EVER rode a bike before I started unicycling. I could ride on, but now I can barely ride on at all, so I don’t think it is a prerequisite

I am a very physically active person by nature, and when I take a new “project” on, I tend to think I need to become an expert at it. Mediocrity is for the masses.
I am currently training for my first full marathon. Yep, 26.2 miles of running fun. And for my first marathon, I’m not just content to finish. Oh no, I want to Boston Qualify! So that means I need to be better than 90% of the other runners out there in the marathon I will run, just to even sign up for Boston.
When I bought my uni, I didn’t go for a cheap learner. Oh no, I was so confident that I would not just like it, but love it, and be good at it, that I went for a nearly 1G unicycle. And I learned to ride the thing in less than 4 hours of practice. By the end of a week, I was riding MILES.
While I don’t have your anger, I do understand your drive. Sometimes we are simultainiously our greatest ally and our worst enemy.
I think what helps me is to focus on how the bad is what makes us triumph vs giving up. The darkness before the dawn. Use it to try that much harder, practice that much longer, not walk away and give up(or smash the uni!)
When it goes well, we are building our body and physical skill set. When it goes badly, we are building the metal toughness to preservere. Both are important keys to any success. Is failure really failure? No, actually it can be a great motivator!
I dunno if you need to talk to a professional or not. We all get angry sometimes.

It’s easy to get frustrated and I understand what it’s like to have a slow learning curve compared to so many of the people on this forum who learned to ride so quickly. But my Nimbus 24 muni survived months of being tossed by the seat like a hammer throw (bought a new frame cause flying into my pickup truck too many times)… Long story short, it took me a long time to ride… a really long time, but it was so worth it. I’m 51, living in the woods in northern Michigan, and the highlight of my day is usually trail riding (did 5 miles in the snow today). You obviously really want to ride, so keep trying. And take a break before you feel like curb stomping your uni.

I would suggest that frustration is a matter of perspective. Expecting to ride like the very skilled folks in the videos is not the right perspective. Set a goal you know you can meet, like “I’m going to to three full revolutions leaning on the wall before I give up for the day”. I had days where my goal was to fall off a certain number of times before I would pack it in for the day. I also noticed that often my best days come after I take a day or two off. You will get it eventually, it sure sounds like you are trying hard enough.

That skilled folks gave me inspiration to start unicycling, so I purchased my first 26" MUni and learned how to ride, jumped over cheap one. :roll_eyes:

Spend 1 hour a day and try ride without walls and fence (especially inside the building like hallway) - start from curb (preferable near the wall to hold). That will be more than enough. My aim was to ride and free mount - got it in 2 weeks.

I have several years of MTB experience so may be it helped me.
Working at the oilfield 28x28 rota I can’t ride every day so here is big vocation after every single month :frowning:

I know that if I had tried to ride for many hours a day, day after day, I’d go batshit on the uni too. Did it to a college physics textbook once several decades ago, and thankfully learned from that episode that there are just some things that I can’t learn quickly no matter how hard I push on them.

If something’s frustrating me, I break it down in to smaller tasks and try to approach it slower. Sometimes that’s at odds with my tendency to push far in to the “red” in order to get something accomplished. And sometimes it seems like there are no ways to break down in to smaller bits, but you can always lessen the time you’re on it.

With the uni, I decided to learn how to ride and how to freemount at the same time (owing to a combination of lack of even ground or tennis courts near me, and laziness at not wanting to walk the uni a half mile just to practice). Took me four months, 15 minutes a day, probably 4 days a week on average. The first two months of that seemed positively fruitless. But I know that my brain does learn hard things when I feed them in 15-minute intervals with 8+ hours of down-time between, so I guessed it would work for unicycling too. Which is why, once I figured out how to get on the thing, I immediately started charting progress on graphs to see what my maximum number of pedal revolutions was each day. Without those graphs showing me that I was making progress, I think I would have easily assumed I wasn’t making any. Here’s one of the early graphs, with a curve fit proving to me that not only was I getting better, but that it was an exponential improvement, despite the seemingly huge setback near the end. Note that the scale is in feet (converted from pedal revolution counts) and all of last May, I was down around 100. And that’s after two months of basically 0…

Hang in there.

– UniT

I’m kinda late to the thread, but oh well. I’ve been trying to learn for a while. I know this about myself: I hate having people watch me not being good at something. Uni is one of those things that people are gonna stare at whether you’re good or not, so I always have to find a place where I won’t attract too much attention.

My main rule is that if I fall hard, I quit for the day. I’m 51 and falling hard hurts enough that I would just tighten up and fall hard again. Failure is not a loop I want to get stuck in. (I did judo in undergrad and fenced competitively in grad school, and in between taught dance. I know what grace is. I also know how to fall correctly.)

I make a little progress, then something happens to take me away from it and I’m not far enough along to pick it up without starting over. Right now my riding spot is a sheet of ice, but spring’s coming and I’ll be back at it again. One thing I have learned is that if I wait too long to lean forward and start moving that I’ll screw it up and get off.

Maybe your rule should be, “Stop when you get pissed off.” When something happens that takes my mind off the moment and puts it on, “My ass really hurts” then I can’t give the uni enough concentration. There’s just so much that you have to let your body learn about this. I have my frustrations with it, too.

Especially since I keep having dream sequences where I ride perfectly.

sleep more

I agree with the advice you received form the other members here, but a couple of things stuck out from the other stuff you said.

  1. You get so frustrated you can’t sleep.
  2. You spend 5-9 hours a day practicing.

Get enough sleep! From a psychological perspective, sleep is very important to the human body. Learning how to unicycle depends so much on muscle memory, and it is only during about the last 2 hours of an 8 hour night sleep that the brain encodes short term memory (muscle and otherwise) from the hippocampus to the to the neocortex, where it retains some permanence. Over the next couple of nights of regular 8-hour sleep, the long term memory is formed.

Just practice 1-2 hours a day, but practice daily! The sleeping brain replays experiences of your daytime activities at night to learn them. So take just 1-2 hours a day to practice to create those experiences, and let your brain learn them at night. It is during the off-time that your brain learns these skills.

Take note of the little achievements! Although I don’t have an anger problem (I am incredibly mellow), I do have a weight problem. It seems to me that unicycling and weight loss are very similar in that progress comes very slowly and the whole endeavor can seem frustrating. To battle the weight problem, I bought an electronic scale that shows two decimal places and started weighing myself every few hours to notice even the smallest improvements. They always make me feel accomplished. Do the same with unicycling. Count the number of revolutions you pedal before you fall. Mark the ground with chalk or rocks to see your progress. And vary what skills you practice to take the monotony out of it.

Anyway, hope that helps.

Lots of small goals equates to lots of successes!

For instance, our team riders earn colored beads for each incremental goal they reach.

  • The first bead is for naming all the parts of the unicycle.
  • The second is for standing on the uni against the wall by themselves.
  • The third is for passing the first line on the gym floor (about 3 feet from the wall)
  • The fourth is for passing the next line on the floor, etc. [/LIST]

    Then accross the floor the short way, then the long way. After that they learn to mount by themselves, then they are ready to test for USA Level 1. If they pass they get a Level 1 card and patch. Ditto for each level passed.

    Most kids put the beads on their shoe strings so they can see the progress they have made. It’s the small successes that lead to the big ones!

  • Rage at the Machine?

    I realize I am responding to a very old post. I am only responding because A) I can have a hot temper, too, and B) unicycling does not have to be anything remotely that frustrating, at least for me. I have two simple rules:

    1. I set a timer. 30 minutes. I am not allowed, under any circumstances, to quit practicing before that timer goes off, nor, under any circumstances, to continue practicing after that timer goes off.

    2. Repeat every single day, rain or shine, good mood, bad mood, whether I want to or not.

    I just finished day 7 an hour or so ago, had a miraculous 57 foot ride followed by a 75 footer, but the rest were nearer to my average of 10 to 20 feet. Yesterday’s record was 30 feet, so tomorrow will be a challenge to try to beat today’s record.

    I got 60 tries in 30 minutes today, writing down each one how far I went and which direction I fell off. Yesterday was 58 tries in 30 minutes. I got sick (EXTREMELY ANGRY) of falling WHILE HOLDING ON TO A WALL, so all of my practice since then (3 days ago) has been launching straight out into the great wide open and just pedalling until I fall. I like it much more than trying to hold onto a wall.

    Other variations may help, but the timer is the big thing for me. Exactly 30 minutes, no more, no less, every single day, no matter what.

    Good luck!