Quotes of the week: Josh Kaufman on a new skill’s frustration barrier; James Clear on being uncomfortable for 5 minutes
It's usually hard to practice an MTB skill when you're new at it, bad at it, or stuck on a plateau
“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
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.
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.
It’s usually hard for me to get started on a practice session for an MTB skill that has me stuck, like my current boulder plateau.
If I have no idea of a specific aspect to work on, the prospect of a practice session involving working on a challenge isn’t there. So I find an excuse to practice something I’m already good at, like slow fakies or skinnies.
If I do have an idea of what element 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.
So now I’m trying to trigger this mental question whenever I notice #1 or #2: “Hey Griff, are you willing to be uncomfortable for 5 minutes?”