Internal Focus and Mountain Sports

Due to the combination of awkward-shoulder-season and a recently borked knee the top three choices of ways to spend my weekend (trad alpine, cragging and scrambling) were out of the question.  I really do like biking. It’s a great way to cover a lot of country in a day and while it has distinct limitations (particularly within the national parks where I live in the summer.) It’s a perfectly pleasant way to spend a day and serves as a very different sort of adventure.

This weekend, I went on the first lengthy trail ride of the season. All in it ran somewhere in the 60 km vicinity and circumnavigated the Rundle Range. It’s an easy trail by any standards, but there was a section about 8km in length that can best be described as “all of the tree roots ever.”

Despite being bumpy, and difficult to navigate, I really enjoyed the rooted section. It required a level of concentration much akin to climbing. While most of the ride was a very straightforward peddle up and down some hills, the single track treed section required a connection to one’s actions that was not present during the rest of the ride.

The connection to motion is what I get the most out of during any adventure. Climbing forces me to concentrate on a single thing at once, blocking out any exterior stressors to focus, maintain control, and successfully complete whatever small goal I am trying to achieve. Being able to achieve an internal point of focus, and working through the motions towards a successful hill climb, or climbing sequence is challenging and rewarding.

It’s about small victories, which is refreshing in a world of long term plans and lofty goals. I guess this is my version of living in the moment.