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Lean Into It

I was driving in a rain storm. I may have been a bit rushed; a bit in a hurry. Coming up to my exit, I signal, then maneuver over to the off-ramp. I see brake lights, but it's too late. I've got too much momentum, but I still slam on the brakes, so I skid out, heading towards the guardrail. Heart in my throat, I still some how manage to think and over-ride my panic. Panic had me braking, then steering the wheel in the opposite direction of the skid, screaming my head off. But, by steering into the skid, I regained control of my vehicle, even though it felt counter-intuitive. The guardrail holding, and my heart beat slowing down, I stopped, and I was fine.
Riding with fresh faces, eventually at one point there's panic etched on those faces when they go outside their comfort zone. Inevitably, they freeze, and they grab a fistful of brake. The resulting endo is not the outcome that was intended. Their panic told them to stop, to brake, but by that time, they had too much momentum. Much like being in a hydroplaning car, the momentum becomes a tormentor.  But, speed is your friends, ladies. I know that seems counter-intuitive, but panic mode isn't productive. When you are approaching that feature, whether it's a rock garden, drop or jump, braking before the feature is only suicide. But, by leaning into it, as in being comfortable and confident with what you're doing, you will get over that feature quickly, and safely.
This coming weekend, I'm the fresh face. I'm competing in my first dirt jump competition. It's going to be fun, as it's the Sugar Showdown, hosted by Kat Sweet, of Sweetlines Coaching, but I'll be out of my element. I know the clinic will be informative—as I know that the coaches are amazing athletes—Tammy Donahugh, Lisa Tharp, Cortney Knudson, Gale Dalagher, and our lovely Lindsay Beth Currier. But, to learn a new skill, and  in front of a crowd—the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival—anything could happen. There is the risk that l may be awkward, but I hope that by going outside of my comfort zone—I will expand it—confident that I will succeed in my goal when I lean into this new experience.

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