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Think fast!
Old 06-11-2014, 09:23 AM   #1
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Think fast!

Remember back as kids someone would throw something at your head and at the last second yell, "Think fast?" And of course you couldn't and you'd get bonked and be the butt of everyone's silly, little kid's version of micro-sadism.

Well, I found myself going over the bars on my bike while trying to avoid a heinous rock-filled rut on a washed out local downhill trail the other day. Having ate it in a similar section previously, I knew I needed to bleed off some speed and hit the brakes and in that last second found myself with the front locked up, doing a stoppie and... You guessed it. Endo, OTB, man down.

Fortunately, with 20 yrs of Aikido and practicing falling on cement wired into the neural circuits I didn't need to think fast... or slow since it all seemed to slow down in that weird oh sh******t! way. No harm no foul thankfully. At first I felt (not for the first time) how I wished this trail could be groomed a bit to make it less threatening. And then I came across this article: featured/truth-trails-smarten-dont-dumb.

What am I as a 62 year old dude doing here anyway? I ride that trail a lot. I wash out on soft corners and rattle the fillings in my teeth over rock gardens nearly every day. Why do I paddle out when the surf is too big and gnarly for normal people?

I think this is also a metaphor for other aspects of life in our culture. Seems like we want to dumb it down. Raise those test scores. Give everyone a trophy. Group affirmation. Slow down. Wear a helmet. Whatever.

Probably the same feeling past generations had. Hey, you ever been kicked by a mule while trying to pull that wagon out of the mud you little whippersnappper?

I'm going out to hit that section of trail right now and see what happens if I change my line a bit. How much speed can I carry through to stay high enough on the berm? How much is too much and will knock the shifters off my bars when I eat it? Must be a little nuts. Think I am glad for it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:29 AM   #2
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Nice story and good analogy.

I just hope I retain the ability to "think fast" until the day I bite it on the proverbial trail of life.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:28 AM   #3
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think fast and use rear brake
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:22 PM   #4
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Yeah, well now that I'm carrying a titanium bar on my collarbone that I do NOT like the feel of, I'm concentrating on keeping the aggressiveness DOWN. I'm still out there at 63 but I want to be able to do this as long as I can. I run too, but I'll let DS do the 56 mile marathons! Plantar fasiitis, broken bones, argh. Gotta keep at it though!
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:18 PM   #5
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Well-"spoke"-en. My brain writes checks my body can't cash too.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:42 AM   #6
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Well-"spoke"-en. My brain writes checks my body can't cash too.
I am almost 20 years younger than most on this thread; and, this has already been happening to me for a few years (sports, longs nights out before work, etc.).

However, I do like the idea that you are still out there doing what you like.

My latest personal achievement: I am now lifting as much weight in the gym as I did in my 30's and running almost as far and fast as I did then.

Next goal: New personal bests on both fronts.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:54 AM   #7
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Take care, ronin. Try your best, do your most, excel, exceed, be the best ronin that you can be.... but remember that as we age, we don't "bounce" as well after a fall like that as we might have when we were younger.

I love that at age 66, I am lifting more weight than I ever did in my 50's! Ten days ago, on June 2nd, I lifted 20.5 tons total on the weight lifting machines at my gym which is the most I have lifted in my entire life, ever. But also, when lifting weight I am cautious and I listen to my body. If something seems wrong, I back off and try again another day, whereas I might not have done that at a younger age. If everything seems right and my body is giving me a "go", I go for it. I try not to let preconceived notions about what old ladies "should" be doing, stop me.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:36 PM   #8
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It is good to have falling techniques hard wired.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:03 PM   #9
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I remember when I was a rock climber long before go pros, I wanted then, and I still want now, just the right amount of 'what the hell am I doing here?' in my life. Its just that the amount of WTHAIDH has changed.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R
I love that at age 66, I am lifting more weight than I ever did in my 50's! ... I try not to let preconceived notions about what old ladies "should" be doing, stop me.
That is awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Is99
It is good to have falling techniques hard wired.
That's for damn sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5
think fast and use rear brake
Must remember, must remember, must ... uh...

Footnote: Was motivating down the single track on my side of the hill this week when a big-arsed buck deer came charging down the hillside above me and crossed the path about 5 feet ahead before power charging down the ravine. Stopped to admire his skill, but shortly after found myself thinking, maybe I should have looked uphill to see why he was in such a rush. We got the pumas supposedly.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:09 PM   #11
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Footnote: Was motivating down the single track on my side of the hill this week when a big-arsed buck deer came charging down the hillside above me and crossed the path about 5 feet ahead before power charging down the ravine. Stopped to admire his skill, but shortly after found myself thinking, maybe I should have looked uphill to see why he was in such a rush. We got the pumas supposedly.
The signage conveyed added meaning on the way out.

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