far as I can tell, pain and sports go hand in hand. If it doesnít hurt you either
arenít trying very hard or youíre playing a video game. So then the goal would
be to minimize pain and maximize output. I feel the way to do this is by proceeding
slowly and surely. I know that doesnít sound exciting, but what more can I say?
When I first started riding trials it was a very sporadic activity. I would
ride three days in a row and then not again for 2 weeks. As a result, I developed
the usual ailments: tender hands, sore arms and back, and of course torn-up
shins. But as I gradually became more proficient at the basics and formed a
better picture in my mind of what I could do and what I was trying to accomplish,
my body began to accommodate my pursuits. The calluses developed, my forearms
and upper arms got stronger and my back aching just seemed to go away. But if
I stopped for a week or so and then tried to pick up where I left off, there
was always a price to pay. So I learned that there isnít really any way around
your bodyís reaction. A trials rider just has to admit to themselves that when
pursuing a sport where you use your body alone to defy gravity, you are going
to have to work extremely hard at it. Work takes itís toll.
What I would suggest if you are having chronic problems is either slow down
your pace, stop all together and try to recover, or try to exercise the part
of your body that is protesting. You could just pretend you feel fine and ignore
the pain, but unless youíre going for a championship or something, I think that
would be a bad idea. So try doing some sit-ups, push-ups, or anything that could
work your weak area. I donít think anyone is going to sit in the weight room
and I wouldnít say that is a good idea either. You donít need to be huge (that
would just be more that you have to pick up along with the bike when riding)
but you do need to be strong and flexible enough to react explosively when the
sidehop or gap presents itself. I find that starting out really small when I
first go out to ride is a good way to warm up. You usually know what you want
to try to accomplish for the day, but you shouldnít dive right in first thing.
Get the blood into your muscles and let them loosen up. Then stop for a minute
or two and just do a few stretches for at least the areas that you feel are
causing you trouble. Your body hurts when you make it do more than itís used
to, so you want to be as ready as possible for all you will encounter. Donít
set your sights lower, just give yourself time to prepare. It shouldnít take
long, but the more you do to prepare, the better you will perform. The only
thing you want to watch out for is making up a routine that is so elaborate
that you donít even want to ride if you have to go through it. Find something
that works for you and focus on improving how you feel. The better you feel,
the more you will enjoy your ride.
Editor's note: Consult a doctor
before following any of the above advice, especially if you have severe pain.
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