Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Black belt cross action

Bike wayyy high and outside, leading over the barrier, 
rider flying over hurdle-photo by Rob Bauer 

Epiphanies are weird things. You can't force them or will them to happen. One day poof they just happen. In martial arts there is the saying that when you are ready to learn (whatever, karate, kungfu, yoga etc) the master will appear to you. In western thought we interpret this as the master will magically appear and bells and whistles will go off and we'll get it. Sometimes the master is right there in front of you you just have to be open and listen. 

I have jokingly told my friends I am un-coachable. Its mainly in jest because in reality I am actually a very open person. I will never be gifted physically but what I lack in that dept. I have always made up with grit and an intellectual curiosity that's helped me learn (especially sports) on a deeper level. Nobody likes that person who starts yoga or something and then is just so over the top effusive with praise that they become a bore. I don't want to be that person but cross camp really opened my eyes to so many things that make you a better crosser. 

In that one-day fishbowl I couldn't even intellectually process half of what Al and Adam taught us that day. But somewhere in my brain I absorbed it like a sponge and like somekind of Manchurian Candidate trigger when I saw this picture on Double Hopped taken at Bedford and the picture Dave Roth took of Molly a flip switched. "Oh that is what they were trying to tell us about hurdling the barriers" fired off my inner voice.

Just study the pictures and you can see what is going on and why its so fast. Adam likened a lot of this to skateboarding-the board does something and the rider follows its flow. Here the bike leads and "flies" over the hurdle and the rider follows it. That's a hell of a lot faster than come in hot, stop, pick up bike, hop over, step, step, drop bike remount right? 
Again look at the right leg high and flying hurdler style and the bike leading and out

Epiphanies are crazy like that. How many times have I hurdled a barrier? 100s. How many times have I done it right? Probably zero. Maybe that one time last year at Noho when I was so out of my mind tired and I came into it hot with Big Tomeke next to me and we just flowed like water over them. 

The last thing and again what just had light bulbs going off in my head--look at the two pictures. These two crossers are 3,000 miles away from each other. Look how it is almost a mirror image. Right leg hurdling high over the barrier, leaping really. Bike is way out and in front. Whole body is leaning forward and you can tell just by looking how fast they are going. And you know what else is the same they don't have that pained effort we all have where it looks like we are doing some power clean with the bike... 

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