This week made me feel like I was getting back into the swing of things, like I was finding my mojo again. On Bee + Roo Adam wrote about his time in Vietnam and there are more posts coming up next week as well. Offline, we've been making some big improvements in bouldering and me personally in cycling as well. We've both managed to top some boulder problems that we've been working on for weeks and both felt stronger than ever in our post climbing strength exercises.
I have also been actively challenging myself and started working on my weaknesses. For example, I'm not a huge fan of climbing on slabs. So, during our last session I made it a point to climb every easy slab in the gym and then start working my way up the grades, slowly but steadily. Yes, there were times where I was one move away from finishing a problem, chickened out and down climbed. And yes, I climb a much lower grade on slabs than I do on slightly more overhang-y problems. But, what counts is that I managed to get over the fear in my head and in the end finish a few routes that I feel really proud of.
The same is the case for my cycling. Yesterday I went for my first 20 mile ride without Adam. I am naturally fairly strong at climbing up the hills but still somewhat scared of descending. Well, I chose to ride to Swanage and back, a route that I now know very well. And I practiced all the little things that still don't come naturally to me: standing up while climbing, using the drops, getting my water bottle and putting it back in its cage. When I returned home I had a bunch of awesome PRs to show of on Strava as well as some faint tan lines on my legs and arms that I was super proud of.
Today, as the sun came back out we went and did it all again: another ride to Swanage and some more PRs. More confidence. More trust in my skills!
Hopefully, this post can inspire you to work on the things that scare you, even if it's just one tiny thing at a time. At the end of the day every 1% improvement is an improvement. So go crush those goals! And now for some fun reads:
People who are crushing it and more!
The strange brain of Alex Honnold
I've been interested in learning more about Alex Honnold after his recent amazing free solo of El Cap. This article from the Nautilus neuroscience vertical talks about what we know about how his brain works. It's pretty damn fascinating!
A note from Alex Honnold's Mum
Go on, one more! I've got another Honnold related article and that's one of the reactions that I was most interested in: his mum's. Now this isn't on the El Cap climb but on what it's like to be the Mum of someone like Alex. Being related to someone who takes great risks can be hard, but it also requires a lot of trust and a very special bond.
A cringeworthy rejection challenge
I'm not sure I have spoken about YouTuber Jenn Rogers before but I love watching her videos. Jenn is a very honest and down to earth person who shares stories from her life including a series of "Dating My Husband" videos as well as "Morning Chats". In this episode Jenn talks about the rejection challenge she's been taking part in. It makes me cringe to listen to her talk about the challenges she's set herself - like asking to get things for free (!) - but it's also been a huge inspiration. Especially as part of my week of growth.
10 cheap ways to boost your bike
Over a couple of glasses of Gin and Tonic Adam and I spoke about the things that can easily be upgraded on my (any) bike and at what point upgrading probably makes less sense than buying a new ride. Red bull published this very fitting list of ten cheap (but great!) ways that you can boost your ride.
A guide to pooping anywhere (outside)
And finally, something to make you laugh. Because we've all been there, haven't we? E.v.e.r.y.b.o.d.y. has one of those hilarious poop related stories. I certainly do... but that's a story for a different post ;)