I’m currently in the French Alps on a snowboarding break. Relaxation by having a break. But also I’m reminded again of the need to relax in sport. This certainly applies to my kettlebell lifts, as you can’t endure ten minutes when tensed up. But very much so with snowboarding. And that’s really quite hard to achieve when you don’t feel comfortable!
I had a lesson out here a couple of days ago to reinforce the learning I’d done at home, and to correct a few things I knew weren’t right. Hubby also had one. Then yesterday we took ourselves off on our own to practice. Which on the whole was very valuable. But I also managed to land on ice on the knee I’d already bashed earlier in the week, and then later, feeling a bit more confident (the worst thing for a beginner!), got thrown backwards (well forwards, but I went backwards) at speed, again landing on ice, on one glute! Both very painful experiences and it turns out that today I found it very hard to get going. I went back to basics of edging on the board instead of flowing turns. Fear! And certainly no relaxation going on.
Thankfully I was with Hubby and a couple of understanding friends, who put up with my slow progress first thing, encouraged me to get going on turns again, and found a nice run safe for practicing on. Sadly though, my progress after lunch could have been better. The lack of relaxation in the morning had affected me. I had tensed up with fear, and by holding an edge position for a long time. This had tired my muscles out a lot faster than if I had done the turns that Hubby is now looking lovely and smooth doing. This was proved by him being much fresher than I was. Not only did I need to relax more, I needed to face my fears of falling again. That’s worse if you land in a tight position too, rather than just flopping down!
The plan for tomorrow is to have a go again on another blue run with a sensible gradient and that is nice and wide to practice some more. I felt happy and relaxed briefly today, and I need to recapture that. I know from my kettlebells that gripping hard on the bell (as an example of tension) is not going to help my lift (especially overhead) and that I need to take the opportunity mid-lift to take a breath and relax. I’ve learnt this from trail and error and my coach.
Learn from my pain and remember to relax into your training. It is worth it. And at some point in the future I will be flowing down a slope with style, just like I can now do ten-minute sets 🙂
PS Cats certainly have it right; in the way they live, and in their lithe smooth movements!