Mental blocks

Funny thing happened this morning. I’m thinking about working on the weak
part of my L foot forward circle (clockwise). So I do a few nice smooth
counterclockwise circles with my right foot, at which I am strong, just for
warm up. Then literally without thinking, with my left foot, I physically
copy what I just did with my right foot. I do a nice smooth left foot
clockwise circle!

When I finish the circle I think, “Did I just do what I thought I did?” So I
go back and try it. “Yes,” I did! I was able to repeat the maneuver at
will. What a moment!

Up to now I had thought this would take some work, some “effort.” But
without thinking, my body just did it! My brain was the road block. I’m
sure we’ve all experienced this. I just found it to be startling how much my
perception of a skill can stand in the way of actually getting it. During
this “accidental” moment of not thinking at all about it, my body, not
knowing any better, simply did what it was already capable of. I don’t think
this will happen hand-ww though! :slight_smile:


> without thinking, my body just did it! My brain was the road
> block.

Our brains are roadblocks for many things. For the average person, it stops
them from learning to ride a unicycle after about 1 minute. It often stops
us from trying things we have doubts about.

In Joe’s case, he found a way to sneak around the brain as it tried to foul
up learning a skill. This is always great when you can pull it off. For this
reason I think games on unicycles are great for beginning riders. Chasing a
basketball around gives you something to focus on while your body takes care
of the riding. After a short amount of time, you find out you’re a much more
solid rider than you were before!

Don’t let your brain stand in your way!

In some ways it can be useful though. I have this little red light in my
head when I ride offroad. When it comes on and I’m at the top of a big drop
or steep descent, and I can’t get it to go out, I’ll walk it. It serves me
well. On some days I get lots of red lights, and on other days I’m more
gutsy and will try lots more things. I had lots of fun in Davis on Saturday,
with hardly any red light at all.

I wonder if that’s because I didn’t bring my camera with me (my butt bag
clip broke and I don’t have a new one yet)?


I also had an experience last night. After a hard night of work I got the Uni out just to play around on. I go for a jump mount, BAM, land it the first try. Then the 2nd and 3rd try go even smoother… on the 4th try I get a bit more daring… BAM, pulled off a suicide mount perfectly… muahah!

I am a beginner, and I am still working on my basics, and yet I have already had at least two mental roadblocks (possibly more I am working on).

One involved practicing in the rain last week on my front porch and sidewalk. That was more akin to one of John Foss’ red-light warnings. It was a dangerous task for me. I kept going no more than a half a rev or so for a long time, because I was afraid I would get hurt bad. Therefore, I kept choking because some part of my brain was flinching even though the proactive “me” was trying to make me do it. Eventually, I realized it was all just fear and that the risk wasnt that great, and so I just kept focusing on eliminating the “oh no you dont” reactions in the different parts of my body until I got past it.

The second one I can think of (that I got past) was turning. The last 2-3 times I’ve been out, I’ve been practicing by using a sign on the sidewalk to mount, and then riding down about 55 feet to the corner. Every time I got there I would choke, because either I had to go straight through the crosswalk (which meant riding a small 9 inch shallow slope into the crosswalk, which isnt easy for me at this point) or else I had to make a 90 degree turn. The turn in particular got me. I have turned sharply before, but more as a reaction to a fall or a wobble. My body knew what it felt like but I couldn’t make myself do it. Finally I just thought about it in my head, planned my exact path, and just went for it. I got it on my 3rd try, and I managed to duplicate it on the very next ride (at which point I had to stop).

So, in my case, I tend to get past mine by some analysis. Still, I know I will have times when thinking about it is going to get in my way, so I will have to try the “go for it” or “think about something else while cycling” techniques recommended here.



<> wrote in message

> When I finish the circle I think, “Did I just do what I thought I did?”
So I
> go back and try it. “Yes,” I did! I was able to repeat the maneuver at
> will. What a moment!

I can’t turn very well yet… I can turn enough to follow roads and paths,
but I can’t go in circles. I was having a quick go earlier; after coming off
rather more often than I’d like I resorted to just cycling around the local
area instead.

I think my problem is the lack of ability rather than mental blockage…

Phil, just me