Singletrack Dreams: Part 1 – My Admission

words by Crystal Lambert
Use code Muddbunnies100 for $100 off your entry fee!

Have you heard about the new Singletrack 6 event created to showcase the best riding in a variety of mountain bike communities in Western Canada? If not, it is six stages over six days with mix of xc riding, panoramic vistas and enduro descents from Kananaskis, AB to Revelstoke, BC.

Hello, my name is Crystal Lambert and I have decided to participate in the Singletrack 6 event from July 26 – 31, 2014. Kinda sounds like an admission in AA? Kinda feels the same too. If you admit it, it must be true…

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I had never been a sporty person until the spring of 2007 when I decided that I wanted to learn how to ride a mountain bike. Looking back on those first few outings I’m shocked on how far I’ve come – and how far I would like to continue. The sport itself horrified me. I thought my instructor was pulling my nonathletic leg about what she wanted me to ride over, down and through. It was physically challenging. Getting to the trails required climbs that I thought only Lance Armstrong (not that I had any clue who that was) could ride – and I hiked, a lot.

But over the years that has changed. My perception of difficulty has changed. And I hope it continues to as I begin my preparation for the longest and most challenging 6 days I’ve ever spent on a bike.

My first race plate at my first race - North Shore Bike Fest, 2010

My first race plate at my first race – the North Shore XC, 2010. This was the most difficult thing I had ever done and without a dropper post!

 

The beginning:

I knew I needed a good base to start building the miles on come next spring. Living in the Lower Mainland area of BC allows us access to some of the best cycling athletes out there – and how they train. Monika Marx, owner of Marx Conditioning, is a Russian Kettle Bell expert, trainer of the Nomads, and has a cult following in these parts. She believes in lifting heavy. And its awesome.

Monika is an inspiring and badass lady!

Monika is an inspiring and badass lady!

 

Since I live about an hour from her studio, and my local gym conveniently has kettle bells, I am not joining in her famous (and sold out months in advance) classes but work with her every few weeks to keep my form, moves and lifting weight in check. As it turns out, learning how to use a kettle bell is almost as technical as learning to ride a bike. During that first learning session I was hooked… because I found it hard. And not hard because it was a hard workout (it is) but hard because it actually requires some thought. Proper form is essential if you are going to get to a place where you can dead lift 1.5x your body weight (a goal for females, males get up to 2x), or squatting your body weight (another goal for the ladies). The turkish getup is the guts of her routine and is the best overall conditioning move one can do to improve fitness. It takes focus, core strength, and balance. Yep, it reminded me of riding a bike too. Another thing that reminds me of riding a mountain bike at Marx Conditioning? The feeling of shocked confidence (“I never thought I could do that!”), when completing a move that seemed out of reach just moments before (cue dead lifting the equivalent of ones body weight). The tangible progression I’m seeing each week is keeping these feelings alive and well in me. Confidence baby!

This is the confidence I will need to draw on when the nagging concerns (will I be able to get the training hours in? what if illness/injury gets in the way? what if my family/friends become angry at the hours I have to spend away? what if I start to resent the hours I have to spend away?) and negative internal voices (“I know I can’t do this!”) come knocking on my door, as they inevitably will.

I am just beginning this journey and have no idea how it will go. But what I do know though, is that I am so f**king excited about it!!!

This is my excited face. :)

My excited face. 🙂

 

Does this article make you think about giving the ST6 a try? Use the code Muddbunnies100 for $100 off your entry fee to make the decision that much easier!

 

The Muddbunnies encourage and welcome female riders of all experience and skill levels to join them in getting down and dirty. Come on, ride like a girl!

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