Sometimes Riding Really Freaks Me Out

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I start to pedal, anticipating the ride ahead. My mind is quiet. I chat on the climb, everything is normal and I have no anxiety or worry, I’m just happy to be out on my bike. It’s a bit like Russian Roulette, I never know whether fear is going to take over, or if I’ll be able to escape its grasp. I’m not a particularly new rider, and aside from the year I took out from riding, I’ve been mountain biking since 2012. I ride as much as other life stuff allows, sometimes riding a lot, other times squeezing in a ride where possible. I can’t say whether it’s something that’s got worse, though perhaps with age and extra responsibility it has. I’m 32, I have no children, but have a house, a dog and other worldly, adulting responsibilities. No one wants to get hurt. But what do you do if you might end up hurting yourself because you’re too freaked out? The Fear Something starts to creep in from somewhere, no concrete thoughts, but a series of niggles form in my subconscious. Then my stomach becomes lead, weighed down and full. What am I even afraid of? My chest gets tighter, fluttering. What is wrong with you? My arms follow, unable to steady as adrenaline surges trying to figure out how to react. Why can’t I just ride this? Then the dread and frustration. Why is my body and mind working against me when all I want to do......

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