It's often hard to practice an MTB skill when you're new at it, bad at it, or stuck on a plateau
These quotes from Josh Kaufman, Trevor Ragan, and James Clear can help you past the initial discomfort
Many things aren’t fun until you’re good at them. Every skill has what I call a frustration barrier, a period of time in which you’re horribly unskilled and you’re painfully aware of that fact. —Josh Kaufman
Source: The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!
Last winter, I tried to learn how to pedal hop using my trials bike in my basement and garage. I quit after a couple of weeks. Looking back on it now, I was winging it with a cavalier attitude. My mental chatter went something like this: “Pedal hopping looks cool; it’s a foundational trials skill; I’m pretty good at technical stuff; I’ll get some quick tips from my riding buddy Pat Mitzell; how hard can it be.” Not a good approach. I didn’t correctly mentally prepare, including how I might handle the likelihood of a high frustration barrier. So I quit. Duh.
So many skills live on the other side of feeling a little weird. And if we’re willing to sit in the weird for just a little longer, we can earn a skill that will help us forever… Of course the magnitude of weird and the amount of practice is going to be different depending on the skill. But if the goal is to get to kinda good island, more skills are within our reach, and we can earn them relatively quickly – as long as we’re willing to sit in the feeling weird swamp. — Trevor Ragan
Source: Getting to Kinda Good Island
Are you willing to be uncomfortable for 5 minutes?
Exercising is easier once you've started the workout.
Conversation is easier once you're already talking.
Writing is easier once you're in the middle of it.
But many rewards in life will elude you if you're not willing to be a little uncomfortable at first. — James Clear
Source: The 3-2-1 newsletter of author James Clear on January 13, 2022
It’s also hard for me to get started on a practice session for an MTB skill that has me stuck, like my current boulder plateau. Even if I do have an idea of what chunk of a skill to practice, e.g., high manuals, it’s hard to get started because they’re difficult and a bit scary for me. And doing my new bodyweight fitness routine? Ugh.
So now I’m trying to trigger this mental question whenever I notice I’m avoiding a difficult practice or workout session: “Hey Griff, are you willing to be uncomfortable for 5 minutes?” Thus far, it’s been transformative.