Written By: Joshua Shouse / NICA Coach
I started riding as a form of exercise. To be fair I actually started trail running for exercise but saw all the guys in mountain bikes and thought “they’re having way more fun than I am”. So I bought a bike from a local shop and I now couldn’t tell you the last time I ran.
Riding used to be an exercise, and to a degree still is. But more importantly I’ve adopted the “shred for my head” belief when I ride. Most days I ride to clear my head and prepare for my long day of work. As an ER nurse, 12 hour days require a lot of mental energy to stay focused. It’s important that I’m operating on all cylinders. The ride before work clears my head and allows me to perform at the top of my ability. I can tell the days I don’t ride before work; I’m slower, less motivated, stressed and anxious.
But more importantly I’ve adopted the “shred for my head” belief when I ride. Most days I ride to clear my head and prepare for my long day of work.
As a NICA coach, I pass this “shred for your head” onto the youth. Teaching them there’s so much more to riding a bike than the podium. Helping them understand that we can’t solely focus on physical fitness when it comes to racing, our mental fitness is equally, if not more, important. I often ask how many hours a week did I spend on my physical fitness?…endurance rides, intervals, tempo? And how many hours did I spend on my mental health? They’re two sides that make up the coin.
So make sure both sides are attended to and polished.
Then punch it into the jukebox and rock and roll! 🤙
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