Sucks to Suck (or) What’s the Point of Hobbies?

It’s a part of our go-go-go culture to define ourselves be what we do for a living. Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing a bit of soul-searching and have decided that my job pays the bills, but I would rather define myself by what I do during my evenings and weekends. My two current ambitions are piano and mountain biking, both of which have actually been part of my life for a number of years.

Recently I’ve passed my Grade 4 Piano exam through the Royal Conservatory of Music. This is a great landmark for my career as a pianist, but it’s brought another question to the forefront: what’s going on with my mountain biking?

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Being mediocre in Sedona, Arizona (and being okay with it). Self-shot.

I’ve been biking for ages, but have only been more keen on mountain biking for the past five years or so. When I first started riding singletrack in the forest, I thought I was the greatest and that I would be a world-class rider within the first couple of years. So I got out and I rode trails and I rode trails and slowly improved my fitness and gained a bit of skill but even today I kinda suck.

When I began taking piano lessons, I made it a point to try to practice at least a half hour six days a week. As a result, I’ve been steadily improving and can see myself improving indefinitely into the future. I enjoy playing the piano and I know that even though I can conceptually understand something, it takes a shit-ton of practice to actually not be terrible at it. I also understand that in order to improve at something, you can’t just do what you can already do and expect to improve quickly. You need to push yourself and working on new things in order to improve.

So I’ve decided that I want to get better at my hobby. When I’m at my day job, I take pride in being a really kick-ass employee and co-worker. But I’d rather put my effort into improving at my spare-time life. When the time should come that I need to reflect back on my life, I want to be able to say “yeah, I was a pretty kick-ass mountain biker and I had real nice hair too.” So.

The video above shows a bit of backyard training. An often useless skill, but I figure being able to ride backwards momentarily and spin back around to ride away forwards isn’t going to hurt my balance. I’m setting a number of goals for myself. To work on cornering. To work on focus. To get stronger. To customize my rig for local conditions. To get better hair.

It sucks to suck. And even though I don’t full-on “suck”, there’s a lot of room for improvement and I hope to spend a lot of time on the bike to raise my personal bar. To be the best cyclist I can, to get the most out of the time I’ve got. All while working on my Grade 5 piano skills.

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4 thoughts on “Sucks to Suck (or) What’s the Point of Hobbies?”

      1. I’m a shoe-in! My main concern is getting bored of it and just kinda quitting without telling anyone. Well, that’s not really a concern but that’s what would happen.

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