Some of you might have seen my post a few weeks ago when I felt the need to vent my frustrations with learning to ride this one wheeled devil. At around 100 hours and 8 months I was still flailing, wobbling, unable to keep it together for more than a few meters except in a very rare fluke of an event where I might occasionally get to 50 meters or so.
Some of you may have also read a post I made to the “unicycling dreams” thread at about the same time where I had this dream in which I could ride smoothly and confidently. I had speculated about being able to transfer that feeling to my practice especially since I believe that there is a large mental component to unicycling anyway. Well, the next day after my dream I was really focused on that feeling and I tried to transfer it into my practice. I still had only a few 50 meter rides but they felt different somehow. It’s hard to put into words but it felt like maybe there was some hope of getting this to work.
In a slight digression from unicycling, when I was 17 years old, I was struggling with learning to play jazz piano. I had a dream that I was at the piano and in my dream the whole jazz thing made sense. I woke from this dream in the middle of the night and with the dream very fresh in my memory I went over to the piano in my room and I improvised jazz. It woke my parents who were rather amazed. Granted, I was no Dave Brubeck, but I was playing jazz. I think the power of dreams is an interesting and amazing thing.
Back to the unicycle. The next 2 days I was much more consistent with my 50 meter rides. I was going this distance regularly but I began to formulate a theory about unicycle ghosts. I thought that I had a ghost who would hang out about 50 meters from me and just push me over when I got to that point. Once in a while he’d be goofing off and not paying attention and I’d get to about 60 meters before he came to senses and blindsided me from behind. Anyway, the next day something just ‘clicked’ and after a couple of shaky freemounts and short rides, it all made sense. I could ride. I just got on and could ride the silly thing until my legs got tired. I could freemount, ride off, turn some rather shaky corners and just ride all around the parking lot. I could decide I was going to do one more lap and do a graceful dismount with wheel in front right behind my car and actually pull it off. It was the most incredible feeling.
That was about 2 weeks ago now and I’ve been concentrating on increase my strength and endurance and I’ve moved out onto the street where there are more surface anomalies to negotiate. Some of those will still take me down but I’m getting better every day. Today was a real test because circumstances had me unable to ride for 5 days so I was anxious to get back on and see if I’ve retained my new found skills. No problemo. I went to the tennis courts today and before I got on I told myself I was going to freemount, ride 4 laps and gracefully dismount, first try. I did. Man, does this feel good. It’s been a long hard road but I feel like I’ve arrived.
Just thought I’d give an update to any of you who might have been following my progress. Thanks a million to all of you for your support along the way. This is the greatest community anywhere.
And the ghost was you! That and probably lack of other riders to watch and learn from. It’s amazing what our brains can do to us. The dream is great, as it puts you in a position of “this is what it feels like for me to do it.” This makes it easier for you. I think this is similar to an athlete who visualizes winning a competition, or making a perfect run, before they do it.
Congratulations on getting to the most rewarding part of unicycling!
UniBrier; man, I couldn’t have dredged up the Underdog theme song from the deepest depths of my memory banks
Klass Bil; I think I’ll still keep my user name. I like it.
GILD; I still play but rarely. I went on to major in music in college but my emphasis was trumpet. Now I’m off in a new musical direction. I play mandolin with a traditional bluegrass group. Very different and fun.
Congratulations on your success. You have shown incredible persistance.
Is that part of your personality. A lot of people would have given up a long time ago.
What kept you going towards learning how to unicycle?
It is really great to see another oldster taking on a new challenge.
I see more unicycles in your future.
Do you really think that there could be a unicyclist on the grassy knoll or is that just another conspiracy theory?
i’ve just recently started messing around with a trumpet
so far i can crack out a scale or two and i’ve had my rendition of ‘when the saints go marching in’ identified by 4 independant observers:o
nope, doesn’t look like we have a trumpeting smiley
Re: Re: More on my long road to becoming a unicyclist
Yeah, I think it’s my personality. I just hate to think that there’s something I can’t do so I keep at it even to the point of beating myself up over it. One thing that really motivated me though, is that I’d keep seeing a couple of people around my town (who I still haven’t had the pleasure of meeting) who could ride so effortlessly. It just looked like too much fun and I hated missing out on the fun.
trumpeting on a uni?
I am currently trying to do that but my uniing is not smooth enough to handle the mouthpiece properly
another option is to try the sousaphone (I’ve got one) because i will still have a hand free to try to balance and the mouthpiece is big…
but the sousa is heavy and I do not want to smash such a big piece of brass…
May be I’ll try with an Alto saxhorn: it’s light enough and I can handle it with only one hand …
anybody has experience about “brass on uni”?
I could probably pull my trumpet out and play it while riding, although with it being cold it’s never fun to play a brass instrument. I played Tuba for awhile, but don’t wanna pay the money for my own.
I’ve also moved onto a new instrument, violin, and this one I like enough to practice. On another thread I found that like 5 people have played and ridden at the same time. I want to get better at the violin before I try, but I figure at least my right hand will have to move for balance, so i’ll try to coordinate it enough to pull the bow back and forth… : )