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I'm riding hard through some pretty technical trails. I'm very tired and I'm about to tackle this last climb back to the trailhead. I furiously start to pedal and realize this is going to be much more difficult than I had expected. By this point I was tired. In my fatigue I failed to map out my way to the top. I just attacked, with whatever I had left, I attacked. The climb is only about 200 ft, but it is steep and littered with large rocks, some planted firmly in the ground, others merely impeding my path. I take one obstacle at a time, pedaling, slightly out of my seat with all of my strength, while fighting to keep the front wheel from being knocked off trail by a barrage of boulders. I am gassed by the time I make it up 3/4 of the climb. At this point, exhastion is a badge I wear with pride because to not be exhausted in this climb means I am walking up this hill, defeated. I ravenously inhale oxygen and release it in fearsome grunts. As I near the end of the trail I see one last obstacle standing in my path, a 2 foot rock ledge. I'm moving at a snails pace, but moving nonetheless...and I'm in the right gear. I throw my body weight backwards and lift the wheel on top of the ledge, I then throw my body forward and drag the rear wheel with me. I slowly spin towards the trailhead marker yelling, "WHOOOO!!" at the top of my lungs.

At the top of the climb I realized that if I had looked at the climb in its entirety (or all that was visible from my vantage point at the time), I would surely have doubted myself and not attempted it with such vigor and determination. Lately, I've been going through a very powerful depression somewhat similar to the climb I experienced. It is daunting, even horrifying at times, but sometimes if I just put my head down, focus on what is right in front of me, and fight like hell, I'll be surprised at what I can accomplish/get through.

As a result, I've been riding a lot more lately and actually have a few more stories that are somewhat similar (although different lessons). I'll post 'em if this served any enjoyment. Thanks! Please post yours, I know they are out there, biking is such a great experience.
 

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enjoys skidding
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MTB is great for my determination and my mental clarity.

10 minutes on a bike for can make the biggest of problems just disappear.
 

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What an excellent analogy! Depression, even in it's mildest form, can be extraordinarily debilitating, and very hard for those around you to comprehend. For me, the eventual understanding that I was responsible for overcoming my own depression led me to deal with the cause and the condition. And personally, nothing works better than a good few hours on the bike.
 

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REALLY?
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I have bi-polar disorder, its not just something I go through every now and then, its a way of life. I just take life as it comes, if I feel like riding (which isnt often) then I ride, if not then I dont. Sometimes it takes just as much determination for me just to get out of bed as it does to climb a hill. But, its ok, and I'm ok, and no matter what...I do the best I can, I stay focused on moving forward, weather its just dragging myself to the fridge, or mastering backwoods singletrack...for me, thats good enough.
 

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ENDO!!!
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Mountain biking has to be one of the most theraputic sports out there. I cant wait for my bike to get here in Iraq, give me a stress outlet!
 

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DP1112 said:
At the top of the climb I realized that if I had looked at the climb in its entirety (or all that was visible from my vantage point at the time), I would surely have doubted myself and not attempted it with such vigor and determination. Lately, I've been going through a very powerful depression somewhat similar to the climb I experienced. It is daunting, even horrifying at times, but sometimes if I just put my head down, focus on what is right in front of me, and fight like hell, I'll be surprised at what I can accomplish/get through.
Strenuous exercise is one of the best cures out there for depression.

I ride regularly because besides being fun, it is an excellent means of clearing the brain of the day to day chatter that fills up my head.
 

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This is how it started...
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I often come home with the stress of my job on my mind and I'll go for a ride and leave it all on the trail. My wife has even noticed the difference and sometimes she will say "You need to go for a ride!"
Another great thing about the sport is once you have conquered something you have never done there is always another section you have never cleaned.
Thanks for the your rendition on how it makes this sport a passion.
 

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Great reading here. I have just gotten back to riding after a few years away and I forgot what a great feeling I have after I ride. I call it my battery charger:thumbsup:
After a long shift at work (firefighter) I can go for a ride and come home feeling refreshed and revived form the stress of running calls.
 

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Sir Hurt Locker
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Riding is definately a cure for depression. Every year as winter rolls in my depression sets in and it isn't until I can get out and ride again that it goes away. I have said that there is no off-season for mtbing, but that's not true, to avoid doing damage to trails the off season is the time when winter is beginning and the ground is wet and muddy. Hopefully the ground freezes soon and the snow on some trails gets packed down so that riding can again be possible. Ride on friends!!
 

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V-Shaped Rut
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I could probably fill a page with cheezy lessons from sports of various types throughout my life have taught me but I'll stick to a few short lines.

Consistent effort leads to accomplishment, it is inevitable. If you are honest with yourself and give what you can you will always find that today's killer hills are tomorrow's warmup.
 

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I haven't been riding for the past few weeks due to cold and finals, but it really does bring you down. Pushing myself out in the mountains and overcoming challenges is both a physical and mental relief for most riders I think.
 
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