Feb 29, 2008

Ski Jumping

Despite what reading the blog may have you believe, cycling is definitely not the only sport in my life. My love affairs have included soccer, running, hockey, bandy, skiing and ski jumping. Ski jumping was probably what I took most seriously in high school. Every winter, all winter, I'd spend my tuesdays, thursdays, saturdays and sometimes wednesdays, fridays and sundays at Bloomington or St. Paul, throwing myself into the air over and over.

Despite what I looks like, ski jumping is a much closer relative of golf than bungee jumping. It require a great deal of muscle control, coordination and mental calmness. Sitting on the bar, taking your third jump in competition is a lot like teeing off on the 18th hole; if your head isn't in the right place, it doesn't matter how much courage you have.

Over the years, I got pretty decent at jumping. I never won anything big or even made it to JO's, but I got to the point where I was going off the big jumps with the big boys. My biggest problem became I had too much energy and too little focus. I'd be the kid running to the top of the jump over and over the day of competition, wearing myself out before it really mattered, as coach Keuler just shook his head at me. I think with a little more focus on technique and strategy and I little less concern for repetition, I would have done better.

I think that's why I doing better in cycling. First of all, the person with the most energy to go out and ride over and over is always in a better position. Its hard to reach the point where riding more will hurt you. Second, I'd learned to take a step back and use better strategy. I'm trying to make the most of my time and definitely not putting in killer rides the day before a race.

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