Starting as a kid vs adult
One of my struggles, both with mountain biking and skiing (my winter passion) is getting enough motion into my movements, especially for things like hip articulation for cornering or really being able to have a strong pre-load. I was having a discussion with a coach friend of mine about the roots of this. She was thinking it was "generational", but I looked at that closer and I'm thinking it may be related to coming into sports and activity as an adult. My observation is based on looking at the women I know who were active in sports as a kid, and therefore maybe feel more natural in body movements. I've run this idea by a few gals who have come into sports as adults that seem to have the same issues.
I think being active as a kid definitely helps. I never considered myself to be athletic, but I did some gymnastics and trampoline as a teenager and I danced a fair bit in my late 30's. I think these all helped me understand balance and movement and I think that the years of dance instruction definitely helped me benefit from skate ski instruction. When I see a newbie adult who seems to be a 'natural', they often have an athletic background.
An interesting anecdote - when I was a teenager, I sucked at ping pong. After doing trampoline for a couple of years, I tried ping pong again and my ability was much improved. Who would have though trampoline helps ping pong skills? I think the same is true in a lot of areas.
I wasn't an athletic child, in any way shape or form, except for my love of biking and things that pedal.
I notice as I go through life and become more athletic(running & kayaking for myself, varying sports for my kids), that my background in biking always translates well into those other sports. So I could see that muscle memory from a lifetime of growing up doing something specfic would help in other areas. And becoming more active overall has made me a better biker
2010 Surly Conundrum
2012 Felt Brougham
2013 Salsa Colossal
2013 All City Nature Boy
2014 Big Dummy
I think things like MTB'g, jumping, and skiing are easier to pick up as a kid, when you are closer to the ground, have no fear, bounce a lot better, and are easier to train. I also think that at least when I was a kid, while boys were more apt (or encouraged) to skid and jump and wheelie, us girls were more likely to companionably circle the block.
Mostly I accept my limitations as sensible self-preservation at 51. I'm not interested in committing to stupid stuff, like the recent vid I saw of guys crashing on the same spot on a trail, one after the other, kind of like lemmings over the cliff. Yet I don't blink at riding all winter to work or on trails, and some consider that nuts as well.
I believe there have been some studies suggesting that some level of kinesthetic ability (developing neural pathways perhaps?) gets embedded during childhood. Not to say that you can't improve as an adult, but the gist of it was that much like language, it's definitely more difficult to start later in life and the upper limit of progression may be more limited.
Or I could be having a senior moment and have remembered all that wrong.
"...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."
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