Thursday, September 13, 2012

Getting Outside your Comfort Zone

The day before my last kite race (see previous post) I got some feedback from an expert kite racer: lean further back, strengthen my front leg, flatten the board...  I thought I would be able to pay attention to these things during the race and go faster. Problem was, the race was stressful (dozens of kites all around me), challenging (too much wind, too little wind, strong current) and tiring (three races back to back). So my body ignored my brain and got into its usual comfortable position: bent legs, bent back, heeled board. I know this is slow, but my body refused to get outside its comfort zone given the stress and fatigue.

To push yourself beyond your comfort zone and improve it helps to have the right environment. Better wind, flatter water, no competitors around. Once you extend your comfort zone in such conditions you can then move on to a more challenging environment. Hopefully your body will remember what to do and disregard the stress and fatigue. It might feel like a waste of time: why bother practicing on flat water if I will compete in chop, but gradually building skills and confidence is often the fastest approach.

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