A Healthy Biking Lifestyle: The Push Factor
by Konnor Lee
I was (and still am sometimes!) afraid of pushing my limits. I didn’t like the pain. I didn’t like having to sit down after physical activities, feeling my lower back knot like a sailor’s rope while my legs shake and freeze at the same time. If biking is supposed to be a fun hobby, why does it hurt? Why do I go back and bike the same trails only to fail on the same climb every time? There has to be a point where I realize “I can’t do this,” right? This is wrong. This is unhealthy. These thoughts bring more pain than biking up the hill with lactic acid pumping through my legs. If we want to beat the climb, we have to push ourselves to get farther every time. We have to push in the legs and lean forward no matter how much they hurt, because if we do not feel pain and fall short today, how will we fall less short tomorrow?
If anything, the push factor is all in the mind. There is no method of pushing. There is no shortcut. You simply push harder than you think you know you can. There is no simpler way of explaining this.
Even if you’re just a “for fun” biker or don’t really care all that much about physical improvement, it is still important that you push yourself when you bike the next trail or take the next climb. If your friends are all taking the climb while you say “It’s okay, I’ll do it next time,” how do you expect to be able to do it next time if you do not fail once? The main reason why most people are afraid of pushing is because they are afraid of failure. I hate to break the news, but failure is inevitable. Failure is part of the process. You will fall a couple of times, maybe stop in the same spot once or twice, but as long as you push yourself to get higher an inch at a time, you’ll make it to the top of the climb and feel the rush of success.