Remy Metailler is one of my favourite riders. If you've not seen this crazy Frenchman ride a bike then check out his edits on the Tube. He rides some crazy drops on some epic Canadian trails, and is known for his insane lines. Whilst writing the Trail Head Project I've encountered fear of certain 'much smaller' drops, I mean really small compared to this guy, proper small! But it's still fear, and it's all relative to what level we're riding at, and it always feels great when you overcome it, beating those limiting beliefs. This is a great little edit where Remy talks about how to deal with fear., so if you do have those moments this is worth a watch. Enjoy.
In my life I've been influenced by some great characters. We can learn from these characters, discover more about what they teach us, and if they're a hero and your feeling a little down, or something in life has not gone your way, then you can always ask yourself "What would they do"?
A Motocross rider I used to work with, coaching in developing his mental strength and building his confidence back after injury, chose Factory Honda rider Ken Roczen as his inspiration. When Ken Roczen crashed and injured his arm badly, he fought to return to racing, and when he came back, he came back fighting, he never gave up and started winning. I'd ask this young rider when he doubted himself "What would Ken do"? The answer was always positive.
In the realms of surfing, mine has to be Tyler Hatzikian. One of the nicest people I've ever met, once sitting and drinking tea on a chilly autumn day in North Devon, and then having the pleasure of surfing with him at Sennen back in 2005/6.
I'm sharing this as I need to find my motivation for surfing, it seems to have left me a little right now as I've focused all my energy on riding my mountain bike but I have genuinely good reason for this focus, you could call it research, and the progression, and riding has been full of stoke this winter. But with Spring nearly here, the longboard is screaming to be ridden, and the urge to get in the ocean is really strong, maybe just a mental. The drop knee turn that Tyler does is all-time, the power and the performance of his turns inspired me to learn these before I'd even met Tyler, I practised over and over, using a skateboard until I could do them. I do love a dropknee....Just watch this lovely film by Jason Baffa, watch out for the drop knee turn.
I've not been snowboarding now for 25 years, the last time was 1995 in my final year at Uni, a student loan well spent on my second trip to Chamonix. Then I properly found surfing and that was it. Every holiday was spent surfing, two years travelling spent surfing, and a move to Cornwall; again driven by surfing. A life revolved around surfing, but I have always loved snowboarding, even if its just been watching the insane riders like Jeremy Jones. This conversation came out last week and I watched intently, listening to these two legends just chew the fat. Selema Masekela is a legend of the action sports world, caught up in the Black Lives Matter discussion, as one of the very few Black Americans in the extreme sports industry, and the face of the X-Games for years. Likewise Jeremy Jones, with unspeakable first descents in Mountain Riding, and also a fore runner in the Climate Change with his organisation Protect our Winter (POW).
Anyway, this is a well worth a sit down with a cup of tea. I've put part one here so enjoy, I'm sure you will.
Whether you ride bikes or not, this is a beautiful film by Killian Bron and his Team. He makes some amazing films but reckon this is the most visually spectacular yet. Enjoy.
Everyone should read 'The War of Art' by Steve Pressfield where he talks about Resistance, or in my case Procrastination. I tend to put things off, and then beat myself up with negative thoughts about why I didn't do this or that. Resistance has affected me in so many ways, and it seems strange that at 51 years old, I now find myself really making a solid effort to beating this down, like properly give it a proper smashing.
I can remember so many times when I have let resistance beat me, I've missed great surfs, let friends down, I've let my family down, and it's has caused me all sorts of grief over the years, but mostly, not being assertive enough when I really should have spoken out, or accepted situations when I should have stood up and been counted, whatever the consequences; I'd probably avoided a shit load of head aches.
This book was part of the 'Getting Booked' series on The HKT Podcast with Matt MacDuff where they suggest a book, read it over the next month and then discuss; like a book club through a podcast, It's so good. I read it the book and it has really had a personal impact. Primarily it's made me more self aware of my own resistance to do doing things. Like washing the dishes after work, I now just get them done right after eating, and it feels better. Or tidying my clothes away to stop annoying my poor wife, I feel less untidy.
In terms of of riding my bike, resistance doesn't seem to affect me at all. This week I've been getting changed at work, racing home and riding the 30 minutes before dark. That window of light is like a gift and it gets me proper excited for riding. Even last night, with a fresh and cold East wind, I couldn't resist a few laps in the scattering of snow left on our hill. I've ridden 5 out of 6 days this past week, with the past weekend full of fun. I'm so stoked on riding bikes right now but is this because my resistance toward surfing has grown over the last few months.
I have a beautiful quiver of boards from a whole bunch of great shapers, a new winter wetsuit, the swells have been pumping but so have the crowds. My resistance to surfing has so much to do with this 'Covid Crowd' right now. The lockdown madness of travelling surfers, overcrowded spots and the fact there have been a lot of south coast swells, I really haven't felt like getting involved. All I have heard from people is negativity and I want no part of it right now. As I write this I can hear my resistance to surfing, but also an overwhelming desire to ride my bike. One thing I know for sure is that my next surf will be because it feels right, not because I feel negative or putting pressure myself about not surfing, which I still haven't worked out why I do this. As Matt Johnson says in Big Wednesday, when asked if he's surfing much; 'Nah, just when its necessary'.
I've been reflecting on why I'm riding so much and this lack of resistance towards heading out on a cold evening post work. It's because I am enjoying the experience 100%, I'm progressing, learning new skills, putting my coaching day to real practice, sessioning trails over and over, and my stoke level is very high right now. It's also because I began writing a book last year called 'Trail Head' and the journey is very much in the present, a learning experience, put simply, I want to record it all, so I ride, I experience, I reflect, I take notes, and I write.
Don't get me wrong winter has seen resistance hit my writing hard. Dark nights, a physical job and the need to just hit the sofa and watch Netflix has been a real, and easy submission some nights. But then, I snap out of it, aware that I have a massive task ahead of me; but a task that I am enjoying so much. This book is a personal challenge, it's for me, and if I get to hand over a copy to my Mum, that will do me just fine. If I have a copy on my book shelf that I can look at and know that I finished it, it's a personal success, and resistance well and truly lost. At the very least, once it's complete it will be on Kindle, or I'll have a shit load of articles I could send to magazines or online journals, maybe a series of blogs, or maybe, just maybe, it will be printed exactly how I want it to be, look how I want it to look and I might sell a few. But none of that will happen if I don't ride my bike.
I'm sitting here now with the winding gusting 60mph outside, and I'm pondering my next ride not surf, but please don't misunderstand me, I love surfing, I am a surfer. But I'm looking forward to lock down ending and some travel in my new van, a road trip or two, with my bikes, some friends, and some trails and some beers. Resistance plays has no part in my riding, enjoyment has fully taken hold and this past year few winter months has just been epic, and strangely I have gone no further than a 5 mile radius from my house.
Maybe that's what beating resistance needs, a massive dose of Stoke and it will disappear for ever. It's easy, get a bike.
This blog contains the ramblings, outdoor adventures and experiences of Russ Pierre. If you have a few moments, take a look through the previous posts and you might just find something interesting. There might also be words, film and contributions from others who also enjoy the outdoors life.