Mental Health and Mountain Biking

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Mental Health and Mountain Biking
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Posted: Mar 25, 2020 at 10:26 Quote
Hello all,

I am a college student doing research on the sport of mountain biking, I am particularly interested in how this sport affects your mental health.
There is a study that discusses the benefits of mountain biking and one's mental health. Many know how any sport can help your mental health as it is an outlet for each individual, however, I would like to dive into the motivational challenges you come across. This can range from an injury stopping you from getting back on the bike, or the challenges of skill progression.
If you have any thoughts/ opinions on any of these topics, please feel free to comment.

If you would like to answer these questions I also welcome all answers.
please include your age/gender & city.

1. How long have you been downhill mountain biking?

2. What were the main reasons that you decided mountain biking was your sport?

3. What do you find are the benefits of mountain biking?

4. How do you feel mountain biking has changed your mental health?

5. Describe the challenges you come across in mountain biking.

6. How did you learn to “let go” when going downhill.

7. Have you ever experienced challenges in staying motivated?

8. What are some of the ways you overcome motivational issues?

9. Do you have any experience with mental health?

10. If yes, then would you be comfortable sharing your experiences.

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 at 22:16 Quote
1. About 10 years
2. Physical health, adrenaline rush, able to see development in skills (progression)
3. Physical and mental health, stress relief, an activity where I can set and achieve goals in a (relatively) short term
4. Mountain biking provides me an activity where I can completely disconnect from everything. When riding, there is absolutely nothing else I am thinking about.
5. As someone who has always been a larger individual (husky pants as a kid, was 260lbs and lost 60lbs) fitness has always been an enjoyable challenge to overcome. It is very rewarding to put in the work and see how much you are able to gain
6. I am not sure how I initially learned to “let go” when riding, but it has always seemed that when I was riding downhill nothing else was able to enter my mind. I was completely in the moment and completely concentrated on what was happening that second
7. Most of my challenges of staying motivated have stemmed from the winter months. My motivation has always been seeing progression and it is hard to do that when you are not able to ride and stuck in the gym
8. I have been able to overcome my motivational issues (related to my answer in #7) by learning to enjoy training in the gym. Seeing incremental progress (noticing any patterns in me??) really help me to get through the winters
9. I have very little experience in mental health. I come from the Midwest where it usually isn’t addressed (however it seems that is changing).
10. While I don’t have much experience with mental health clinically (being treated, etc.), mountain biking really helped me out of some dark places while I was in grad school in Nebraska (flat, corn everywhere, not much riding). I come from an area where my passions (riding, fly fishing, hunting) were literally 5 minutes away from my driveway. Going to a place without riding and much fly fishing was really hard and I fell into a bit of depression. One night I agreed to do a 50 mile xc race with my dad if he did it again (note, I only owned an enduro bike and had never had interest in this long of a ride let alone race). Best thing I ever did. I found some trails around me and dove head first into training and dieting and it rocketed me out of my depression. Best decision I ever made.

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 at 22:38 Quote
1. About 8 years
2. Loved it from my first ride, found it unique, and challenging, but most of all, just a great time
3. Makes me happy, is a way to forget everything, and challenge myself, and of course is good for staying fit
4. it is a way to release some emotion, I don't think i have ever been upset because of riding, it just makes me happy, because I love it! it is my passion.
5. Since I ride BMX aswell as mtb, there is a lot of comitting, scary things that I do at the skatepark and whatnot, and so skill is one challenge, as well as injuries, probably the biggest, that is what fear is, being worried about getting hurt, and when you are out for a month, or more due to a crash, you have so much time to think about what went wrong, and it can be quite a challenge to do that same trick, or jump once you recover.
6. Letting go, is an interesting one, it really just comes with skill, as you gain more bike control, and confidence, you can go faster, and hit bigger things, the way to really let go, is to believe in yourself, if you go into a jump, confident and telling yourself that you can do it, then you will. Biking is a massive part mental, as soon as you loosen up, and relax, you will be a much better rider.
7. Challenges in motivation, not really, because I love the sport, and I ride for fun, not fitness, or speed, but speed is pretty fun, come to think of it.
8. Conquer your fear, but don't push yourself, if you want to take a break, take a break, if you push yourself to hard, that is when you stop enjoying it.
9. No experience with negative mental health, I have never gone through a depression period, I have always been a super happy, positive guy and live life to the fullest!
10. n/a

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