Do you want to change a bad riding habit? Try this…

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”
— Niccolo Machiavelli  The Prince (1532)

Apparently we learn best if we are involved in the learning process so here is a 4 minutes experiment to start you off onto a road to successful change…

You will need the following items:


1. Teach your body & mind that what they think they knows is not true…How?

Fill in 3 cups with water: one with hot water (not boiling!), one with tepid water (lukewarm) and one with cold water (you can add a couple of ice cubes).

For 1 min submerge an index finger of your left hand into hot water and index finger of your right hand into cold water. After one minute or so, take both fingers out of their cups and submerge them both in the cup with tepid water.

Observe: how does the left finger feels? How does the right finger feels?

You will notice that despite *knowing* very well that the water is tepid, your left finger will perceive it as cold and your right finger as warm or even hot…

When you want to make a change you will have to acknowledge that, in initial stages, you are only making progress when your mind disagrees with your body. If you ten to carry your right hand higher than your left, the initial correction of holding your hands even might feel like you are dropping your hand way too low. Our mind is a liar 😉

2. Every day for 6 weeks brush your teeth with hand opposite to your usual hand

This is one of my favourite, simple intro exercises to re-wire rider’s brain. It is thought in learning psychology that it takes on average 6 weeks to make a change to a habit. This statistics varies and depends on whether the right cause of a habit had been recognised and whether a good replacement had been found.

This little experiment is not aimed at making you ambidextrous in oral hygiene but rather to introduce you to the methodology.

In Summary 

To make a change you need to first change your belief. Your body feels hot or cold in tepid water depending on environment you put it in before. The water is neither cold nor hot though and that you need to believe in despite feeling otherwise…

Brushing your teeth with opposite hand will feel awkward, slow and annoyingly imprecise (unless you are fabulously ambidextrous in which case let me know, I am going to give you a different exercise ;). Keep going for 6 weeks, morning and evening and tell me whether it got any better…

Belief. Consequence. Discipline. New Habit. One step at a time.

What ONE bad habit would you like to change in your riding today? Quick, first one that comes to your mind? 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s