Monday, September 22, 2008

confidence crisis

I am suffering a confidence crisis.
for which there is no good reason.
and I'm trying to understand it, without giving it credence by thinking too much about it.
what I know is this: I am not feeling confident in my ability to complete challenging rides. the thought of climbing big cottonwood was almost scary to me last week, and rides longer than 60 miles seem like entirely too much. I am almost afraid to ride up the backside of big mountain, kind of praying no one I ride with suggests a route that includes this stretch.
and none of this makes sense. I am probably as fit as I've ever been, and certainly I should be in the best cycling shape of the year right now. all of the times I've ridden since lotoja (and all season, as well) I've been able to complete the ride, and I've never had to quit or give up. (nor have I had to vomit or deal with debilitating muscle cramps.)
so why do I have this feeling that I can't do it?
I just did a little research on "confidence crises," and they are often connected with losses, or life transitions. I guess I'm in a transition, knowing that my glorious outdoor riding season is coming to an end. but that's hardly like a move, a new job, a divorce, what "normal" people would consider significant transitions. and I haven't suffered a significant loss, either.
so . . .
suggestions for overcoming such crises include journaling (I think we're both aware that I am doing that on a regular basis!), being grateful daily, using affirmations, and taking risks.
I'm pretty good at the first two, but I guess I could start the latter two.

I'm a good cyclist and I can ride up any hill I choose.
I have great endurance and I can ride my bike for 12 hours if I want.
I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me! (with apologies to stuart smalley.)

alright, I can do the affirmation thing. I'll start taping to my mirror little pieces of paper with affirmations on them.
now, for risks. the suggestion is to make a list of things I'm afraid to do, then start doing them, one by one. a risk a day.
this could be more challenging. what can I put on my risk list?
I suppose I have to put riding up the back side of big mountain, don't I? and riding another century, as I've put them in the "oh, that's too long of a ride" category. and other than that, I'm going to have to put a little more thought into what other "risks" might be for me.
Catarina Rando describes a risk as "something you would do in an instant if you knew you would be successful."
You work on your list; I'll work on mine.

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