There comes a time in the year when motivation levels go out the window. Along with that, so too goes your moral willpower against Moreish foods, certain warming alcoholic beverages and lackluster to exercise.
Ah yes, Autumn turns to winter and so starts the sneaky winter-coat regime of being subtly reapplied without your knowledge. The jeans you were contemplating on down sizing last spring are now looking like you rapidly will have to trade in the opposite direction. you need to do something, fast....
Having been spoilt with an abnormal Northland summer of long, hot and sunny days which seemed to be drier then a desiccant bag in a new pair of shoes. We have now been swamped with two tropical cyclones in quick succession and the subsequent isolated heavy down pours which lead and lag these weather systems, seem to have taken up prime real estate over our region.
The trails and tracks have become dust turn mud, streams turned creeks and creeks turned rivers. The summer we felt to be one of the best in yonks seems to be a preceding year in year out occurrence that our brains happily forget. The want to trudge your way in the mud and rain has taken a severe back seat ride and motivation is at an all time low. SAD has definitely set in. What to do?
1. Mix up your training
So you're a die hard mountain biker, the road is literally the devils spawn and only KOM hungry, lycra clad morons use it right? Wrong.... Embrace it....well, the road part anyway. Even the worlds greatest MTB shredders train on the road and guess what, you don't have to wear lycra...
2. Enter an event
My key to trying to keep my motivation for my chosen passion is simple. look ahead, make a goal and make that achievable. For this, I'll usually enter myself into an event a few months out as once I have invested some of my hard earned South Pacific Peso's I can't stand to not get value for money out of a spend. This is generally my go-to for reigniting that motivation and does wonders for my mental state of mind.
3. Get intimate
Take the winter time to do a little preventative maintenance and get intimate with what ever equipment you have. New Shoes, new gear cables, bearing pivots, grips etc. Keeping your equipment up to date in a practical sense will allow you to enjoy your ride, run or hike a hell of lot more. Take the pain and suffering out of those boggy, energy sapping conditions and keep on top of it.
4. Share the bill
Find someone else who is suffering the pre winter blues and go on a few roadie's to another park out of your region. Better yet, make a weekend of it, find that new park or trail you've been trying to ride for years and do it. Often, when planning things solo your tendencies to not outweigh the tendencies to. Riding or planning with a buddy is a good way to egg each other on and build up a bit of peer pressure making each other keep motivated.
5. Better Skill sets
Winter riding is actually a bit of an under estimated godsend. Riding in Winter on, slippery, dull, muddy and uncontrollable trails can actually condition your riding better then you may think. Sure the predictable trails in summer time are fun but, learn to ride fast in the mud and I will Guarantee you will be reaping the rewards next summer.....
6. The Big Bad Wolf
Just because it's dark earlier doesn't mean you have to go to bed in fear of the Big Bad Wolf outside. Get yourself a set of good night riding lights, charge them up and hit those trails. Not only will you find yourself grinning (or grimacing) a whole bunch more, you'll find a whole new world to your riding regime often finding a few hidden extras on your regular trails. Night riding is a proven way to hone your skills, increase your enjoyment and offer a year long solution to a problem.
6. Harden up
Yeap, there! I said it! Harden the hell up, get out there, have fun, grin and bear it!
It's a fact of life winter comes and goes. The saddest part is the cooler months seem to outweigh the warmer ones but I guarantee you'll be welcoming the dust, dropping the layers and basking in the sunshine before you realize.
So go on, get out there. Be the hard bastard your mates all idolize and show them what's what. Much like the public humiliation of a 3rd form swimming sports "incident" there is no magic potion in avoidance. Overcoming your now winter blues will entirely be up to you and your mind and just how broken and miserable your pathetic moaning really is.
But one thing is for certain..... DO NOT avoid Pies or Beer. Just like what I'm doing while I type this planning my next entry to an event.... The Whaka 100