Keep Challenging Yourself

Keep Challenging Yourself

Don't settle for what you've got and what you've already achieved.

by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching 

This past weekend, I took a 3 day mountain bike coaching course to attain my Level 2 BICP (Bicycle Instructor Certification Program) certification. It was amazing.

Throughout the 3-day course, we were tested on our ability to teach, demonstrate, and gain a thorough understanding of 12 intermediate mountain bike skills. Some skills seemed easy (for me) such as the roll down, and some of the wheel lifts. Others proved to be much harder than I anticipated; track stand, and advanced braking (apparently, I'm not good at riding slowly...).

Alison Powers Test - MTB Camp - ALP Cycles CoachingAt the end of the course, we are given an evaluation on our coaching and riding skills by our coach instructor and fearless leader for the 3 days, Lisa Sher (a former DH national champ and world cup racer). What she told me has had a powerful effect. "You pick up skills quickly with your natural-athleticism - keep challenging yourself!" The first part I knew. I haven't had the success in sport that I've had without good genes from Mom and Dad. Keep challenging yourself. This part makes since as that's how athletes (and people in general) get better. However, "keep challenging yourself" hit home. At 40 years old and with 5 national cycling championships, she's telling me I can be better. Don't settle for what I've got and for what I have already achieved. Keep challenging myself to get better, improve my riding skills, better my coaching skills, and keep aiming to get better. For me, this has been very inspiring. 

This is what good coaches do. Good coaches inspire and motivate you to keep challenging yourself. They provide that little push that we can't get on our own. 

This is what good coaches do. Good coaches inspire and motivate you to keep challenging yourself. They provide that little push that we can't get on our own. 

It might be the middle of October, but I'm still motivated to mountain bike and constantly work on my riding and confidence skills. She's given me that push to keep at it through the winter time, so come Spring, I'll be a better rider and skills coach than ever. Thank you Lisa.

Here's to a Fall and Winter of getting better, of challenging ourselves, and of getting out of our comfort zones. We all want to be a better and stronger version of our self come 2021.

Alison Powers Cornering During Coaches Clinic - ALP Cycles Coaching

While my cornering improved, I could still get lower and lean the bike over a lot more.

Alison Powers Coaches at MTB Camp - ALP Cycles Coaching

My fellow coaches for the 3 days.

Give yourself permission to take 2-3 weeks off. And by "off", I mean OFF. No Cake and Ice Creamexercise. No bike riding. No running. No hiking. No strength training. Really rest. This rest, while sometimes the hardest part of the training year, is the most important. Rest the body. Rest the mind. Allow yourself to turn the athlete in you "OFF". Give yourself freedom to stay up late, eat ice cream, skip the foam rolling, and/or have another beer without worrying that it will negatively affect your training the next day.

Once these 2-3 weeks are over, you will be more fresh, ready, and motivated to train than ever. You'll be hungry for 2021 and ready to work hard to become better.