peaty steel city

Don’t think about Monday

by 1

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Northern Soul, the Hacienda, and Acid House raves in a field. If you were there, it seems, you were THERE. Wondering how you’d get home in time for work on a Monday morning wasn’t part of the equation – you had to go with it, dive right in, live it, breathe it. To really ride a BMX or skateboard, you can’t think about the potential concrete/skin interface, you have to Just. Do. It. Half measures are just dabbling, and you’ll never have the full experience, or pull that full 360. It’ll always come out as the radio remix, or a feeble 140.

I suspect that the same goes for being really good at racing. You can’t sit on the start ramp thinking about Monday’s presentation, or hit that berm at full speed wondering how to smuggle vegetables into tonight’s meal for the kids. You’ve got to put all those thoughts to one side and just think about the next turn, the following jump, the brake point before the next feature.

I realised this as I sat at the top of the start ramp at Peaty’s Steel City Downhill last weekend, waiting for my second practice run.

peaty steel city

There’d been a crash after my first run, and a long stoppage, which had given me rather too much time to think. Thinking had led to the realisation that I was in the woods with one of my kids, an hour’s drive from home. I had somehow then realised that, should I crash and knock myself out, no one would know who I was here with. My emergency numbers might have eventually figured it out, but meanwhile there’d be an eleven year old wandering around wondering where I’d gone. I mean, he wasn’t going to go hungry or anything, but I didn’t really like the idea of trying to figure out the logistics of retrieving him from the woods to a hospital bedside somewhere without my phone (which he had in his pocket).

Yes, I may be prone to catastrophic thinking.

I gathered enough focus to complete my run and remember to take the B-line that avoids the gap jumps, and made my way straight to the car. Here, I wrote a little note to anyone who might find my crumpled bones on the track, asking them to find my child and keep them safe.

peaty
Image Credit: Daniel Wagstaff

Note in pocket and life admin sort of dealt with, I headed back to do my race runs. The first one was OK, but with room for improvement for sure. The second one I totally forgot about the B-line, nearly hit the gap jumps, and had to slam on the brakes to avoid them. Anger at my stupidity made me work harder in the second half, and I sprinted into the finish line with a mouth full of dry dust and heart pumping. Enough to earn me a 3rd place in my category, which I’ll stop going on about now because I might have mentioned it at least once elsewhere.

I definitely don’t have the focus needed to be a great racer, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy, just for a few moments, putting all the other thoughts out of my head and thinking about nothing more than staying on the bike and going just that little bit faster. 1 minute and 42 seconds of forgetting about Monday, and the dishes, and that email, and the laundry.

I highly recommend it. Have a great weekend. See you on Monday.


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  • Don’t think about Monday
  • kayak23
    Full Member

    😊
    Great result Hannah 👏

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