Broken nerve

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gp.girl
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Broken nerve

Post by gp.girl » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:42 am

Well Sunday went terribly. Totally lost my confidence and refused to get on a river that is well below my abilities. All I could see was the possibility of it going wrong and despite reassurance from people who know its going to be fine I just couldn't get past the worries. Totally upset myself and now doubting if my nerves will be OK for the WW trip in a couple of weeks.

The swim on Serpents might be the problem. In one way I can't see why, I had a bit of a knock although OH is sure the rock was hurt more than me :) Plus I managed my first every attempt at rolling for real on a river. If noone had told me I was bleeding I wouldn't have noticed and I did it again even if I did follow someone for a bit. I did Town Falls afterwards again following but I haven't been down there in years as I've not had the guts to do it. It was a lot bigger than all the times I have paddled it before. The next day I got on a new (to me) river thats harder I normally paddle and after a slightly shaky start struggling to relax I had time to worry about mucking around with the goPro and making a few extra eddies. Would have gone round for another lap if everyone else was up for it.

Then got a bit disheartened on LV after a swim with attempted roll but made some moves I haven't before and actually felt OK. Did need a bit of backup, definately worse if I didn't feel there was someone there to keep an eye on me. Maybe that was lacking on Sunday? Problem is that shouldn't have been needed, I don't need someone to keep an eye on me in that way. If I do then something is very wrong and I shouldn't be on the river. But I should have paddled, it would have been a great day on the water if only I hadn't mucked it up.

So I have to make some decisions

Get back to LV before the trip?

And get a buddy?

Go on the trip?

Paddle if I do?

Go with the group with hubby keeping a eye out for me?

Go seperately and get a coach?

If this one any ideas for someone good at confidence issues as mine seems to have been mostly broken for the last 2 years.
I can roll :)

Chris Bolton
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Re: Broken nerve

Post by Chris Bolton » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:22 pm

All I could see was the possibility of it going wrong and despite reassurance from people who know its going to be fine I just couldn't get past the worries.
In my experience, that happens to everybody from time to time. If you can manage to look at it like that, it's not a problem.
Totally upset myself and now doubting if my nerves will be OK for the WW trip in a couple of weeks.
That's the issue. As soon as you treat it like a problem, it becomes one. I know it's much easier for me to say that that it is for you to change your mindset, but if you can focus on the positives and not think about the negatives it will help. As soon as you find you're worrying, do something that occupies your attention, so that you can change the subject. Then visualise all your best moves.

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by Graham Smith » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:55 pm

I think it is something we all go through as part of our progression.
How we deal with it is what makes the difference....

My way of dealing with it was working with a coach who was able to keep me in my comfort zone, but then push me to achieve harder and harder goals.
A few sessions with Matt Blackwell helped me immensely. There are many really good coaches out there, and I have benefited by being coached by them, but for confidence issues, Matt would always be my go to.
If you cant get Matt, then I would stick with the young modern coaches who have spent time with Ken Hughes.

I hope this helps, and you get the most out of your trip.

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by neonbowhawk » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:11 pm

You are definitely focusing too much on what you perceive to be negatives. It sounds like you had a few very good positive things to concentrate on, you ran Town falls fairly high for the first time in ages, and had a roll when you needed it. Both awesome !

I always have a little chat with myself after a session, think of a few good things i achieved, it might be a good surf, a roll, i nailed the line, took a different line or hit a good boof, whatever. There are always things i could improve on but dont dwell on them, aim to improve them a bit for next time.

As for not running a river you have done before, so what? Sometimes i run a certain rapid, sometimes i dont, it depends on how i feel that day and making decisions like that is part of running the river. Be happy with the decision you make and dont hate yourself for it.
Someone i have learnt a lot from told me to look at running a rapid like this:

Can i see the line?
Can i make the line TODAY?
Does it look fun?

If the answer is no to any then dont run it. It can just as easily be applied to a river as well as a rapid.

Now get yourself down LV and have a mega session then come and tell us about the good things you achieved whilst there.

Simon

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Jim
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Re: Broken nerve

Post by Jim » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:13 pm

gp.girl wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:42 am
Did need a bit of backup, definately worse if I didn't feel there was someone there to keep an eye on me. Maybe that was lacking on Sunday? Problem is that shouldn't have been needed, I don't need someone to keep an eye on me in that way. If I do then something is very wrong and I shouldn't be on the river.
I disagree with your thinking here.
We paddle as groups so that we can keep an eye on each other and provide whatever backup each of us need. For many it is simply having other people there, others need to talk things through at every rapid and/or have some of the people they trust in safety positions. This should all be perfectly normal, and you should find that you get it in the group you normally paddle with without having to depend on a specific person being on the trip. More often you will find more experienced members of a group are keeping an eye on certain people, but trying to do it in a way that is not obvious lest it come accross as patronising.

In my experience it is often difficult for couples due to the emotional attachment, if you can find others in your group to look out for your instead of hubby that might be better in the long run. I have several times ended up in situations on rivers where it has been necessary to physically separate couples in order to allow the female (in all cases I can bring to mind) to paddle to their full potential. I can recall paddling almost all of the Isere with 2 of the group effectively forming a polo zone defence in front of the male partner to keep him out of earshot whilst I coaxed his girlfriend down the rapids - everything he said or did just seemed to make her more nervous. That was the worst day, but it was a long 3 week trip! On the other hand I have also seen someone very nervous whilst with one partner, but full of confidence with a different one, so some couples do work best together. If that's you maybe stick with the winning formula.

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by LucyLou19 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:44 pm

I think its important in cases like this to work out what you want from kayaking, and remember why you do it.

What river was it? I also think its important to remember our Physical ability is fluid and based entirely on our mental ability. I've paddled around the world on some pretty big waves (not without my share of tantrums at points mind) but having dislocated my shoulder in inlet gate (with spontenous relocation thankfully) and then spending 9 months out with a reconstructive surgery (which i was booked in for the week before my trip to nottingham) a very chill hole on a very chill whitewater course was, until recently my biggest nemisis.

Depending on the river (especially levels), and the time of year, what I would actually do is go, with a drysuit if you have one, and swim the river. When I worked at an outdoor centre in North Wales, we quite often used to swim rivers and hike back if we didnt have the chance to set a shuttle. Its great fun, is good practise and is a different challenge. It works especially well on the Llugwy to Jims Bridge and the whole of the Horseshoe- MEM section of the Dee (I wouldn't voluntarily swim Town Falls). Then if you feel happy, pick up your boat and have a go. But If you go away, you need to pick a trip or river thats in your happy place and surround yourself with people who make you giggle.

The best paddler on the water is the one with the biggest smile on their face.

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by Chalky723 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:35 pm

LucyLou19 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:44 pm
I think its important in cases like this to work out what you want from kayaking, and remember why you do it.

---

The best paddler on the water is the one with the biggest smile on their face.
This.

Given your previous issues and focus on rolling and this post - are you paddling over your comfort zone? Maybe turn it down a notch & stick to rivers you're going to enjoy?

Not everyone can/will want to run Grade 3/4 - and there are loads of people that never have & never will. Don't fall into the "keeping up with the Joneses" mindset.

If it's not fun why do it?

D
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Re: Broken nerve

Post by DaveBland » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:51 pm

Chalky723 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:35 pm
LucyLou19 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:44 pm
I think its important in cases like this to work out what you want from kayaking, and remember why you do it.

---

The best paddler on the water is the one with the biggest smile on their face.
This.

Given your previous issues and focus on rolling and this post - are you paddling over your comfort zone? Maybe turn it down a notch & stick to rivers you're going to enjoy?

Not everyone can/will want to run Grade 3/4 - and there are loads of people that never have & never will. Don't fall into the "keeping up with the Joneses" mindset.

If it's not fun why do it?

D
Saved me a shitload of typing. Thanks.
Agree one gazillion % with all above.

Actually make that two gazillion.
dave

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by SPL » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:59 am

We all have self doubt and come through it in different ways.
My advice would be to have a 1 to 1 with a coach ideally one that you don't know and doesn't know your peers.
Hopefully a new prospective on your paddling will improve your ability, confidence and put a smile on your face.
Keep paddling!

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by gp.girl » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:15 pm

Plan is pool session on Fiday - lots more rolling and a bit of bracing :) Wednesday LV bottom of the course and try the wave on the back straight if I feel good, pretty sure I will try to roll (this has been going quite well) and if it doesn't work must make a second attempt (next step). Weekend will see, thinking about a stationary session at MEM but not sure if anyone else will be keen. No rain forecast so its the Dee, Lower Tryweryn or Vyrnwy :)
I can roll :)

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by Chalky723 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:27 am

gp.girl wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:15 pm
Plan is pool session on Fiday - lots more rolling and a bit of bracing :) Wednesday LV bottom of the course and try the wave on the back straight if I feel good, pretty sure I will try to roll (this has been going quite well) and if it doesn't work must make a second attempt (next step). Weekend will see, thinking about a stationary session at MEM but not sure if anyone else will be keen. No rain forecast so its the Dee, Lower Tryweryn or Vyrnwy :)
Are these within your ability/comfort zone? As per my comment above, paddle based on what's going to be enjoyable for you, not on "I've paid for the bunkhouse, I'm gonna go".

I know you've had coaching sessions in the past, more may help you or they may just pile on more mental pressure "everyone else can do this, why can't I?".

You may eventually decided that you're much happier chilling round flat backwaters on your local rivers with a sun hat & a pair of binos, than stressing over whitewater...

D
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Re: Broken nerve

Post by DaveBland » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:31 pm

Chalky above is right. Hey, let's do a group therapy session....

Post up a soul-searchingly honest list of what you like and don't like about paddling as you are doing it now. As in-order as you can. Pros and cons.

Then let the collective wisdom of UKRGB guide you to the light.
dave

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by jmmoxon » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:06 pm

Although from your other post it sounds like chase boating on the tryweryn was just what you needed, as it took your mind off what you were doing & you concentrated on getting the keys back...

Mike
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Re: Broken nerve

Post by LucyLou19 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:10 pm

I think its the SWWK last meet up of the year, why dont you go and meet them rather than go with your club.? SWWK mindset is just what you need, fun and chill times on the river. But is lower T in your comfort zone with the club? Remember its supposed to be enjoyable!!!
Id avoid the Vrnwy at all costs. Its genuinley aweful, the section from Pont Logel dam is always tree infested.

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by LucyLou19 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:12 pm

DaveBland wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:31 pm
Chalky above is right. Hey, let's do a group therapy session....

Post up a soul-searchingly honest list of what you like and don't like about paddling as you are doing it now. As in-order as you can. Pros and cons.

Then let the collective wisdom of UKRGB guide you to the light.

Ok so for me,

Im not paddling very much at the moment :( Because im based in Carlisle, miles from anything artificial and there is no rain.
My concerns are, i'm judging myself based on my previous ability and comfort. I want to go to the Falls of Lora this weekend, but I'm just not that confident as I've barley been on the water this year since my shoulder surgery and starting uni.
I'm also not that happy upside down in my creekboat, im very scared of a shoulder injury creekboat surfing but will happily surf all day in my playboat.
What ive done is ordered a ripper, a more playable boat for rivers :)

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by Chalky723 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:06 pm

LucyLou19 wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:12 pm
Ok so for me,

Im not paddling very much at the moment :( Because im based in Carlisle, miles from anything artificial and there is no rain.
My concerns are, i'm judging myself based on my previous ability and comfort. I want to go to the Falls of Lora this weekend, but I'm just not that confident as I've barley been on the water this year since my shoulder surgery and starting uni.
I'm also not that happy upside down in my creekboat, im very scared of a shoulder injury creekboat surfing but will happily surf all day in my playboat.
What ive done is ordered a ripper, a more playable boat for rivers :)
My turn!

I had a bit of a scary swim in the Alps in the Summer & this, combined with a foot operation have kept me out of a boat since. I'm not realistically going to be back in it until the New Year.

I know I need to go back to basics and get my roll back up to scratch and also to make the effort to play on waves etc - I always tend to avoid this and say "it doesn't interest me" whereas what I really mean is "I'm worried I'll swim if I go in there".

I'm nervous but looking forward to it too - hopefully next year will be a better one for Chalks!

D
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Re: Broken nerve

Post by Jim » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:40 pm

I don't think my issue is in quite the same league as some of you guys, it only affects a very small part of my paddling in any case.

I have lost quite a lot of weight this year, and it is fair to say my legs have more shape than they used to, so when I strap into my slalom C1 the straps grip my thighs differently than they used to. Back in June I was racing at Pinkston and heading diagonally down a wave to take an up left gate with my paddle on my left (upstream) side when I did something stupid with my edge, or maybe the paddle, and ended up capsizing upstream and hitting a block with the blade and having the paddle ripped out of my hand as I fell in. I can't hand roll C1, so had to exit. Normally I just wriggle out of the straps, but this wasn't working and I decided to try and release them instead, but couldn't find the end of either of them, so in desperation had to go back to wriggling, and eventually got out 25-30m downstream of where I fell in.
I have since added some extensions to the ends of the velcro straps to make them easier to find, and have paddled C1 on more difficult water, and even had a good result on the LV legacy (3rd I think), and the only time I have fallen in since (Scottish Champs at Grandtully) I rolled easily, but something just isn't right, I have definitely lost some confidence and paddle more conservatively most of the time.
To add to my confusion, I decided mid-season to concentrate on K1 because I was getting close to promotion, as part of this I started neglecting C1, only doing a single run at races so I could focus on trying to do well in K1, and pretty much only training in K1 since July. I think I probably used these factors as excuses to avoid facing up to a loss of confidence.
As it turned out I missed K1 promotion by a few points, so next year I will transfer to veterans in K1 so I can race alongside any division (I want/need the challenge of the more difficult/bigger courses), but will stay in div 2 in C1, which means I will no longer be doubling up in both K1 and C1 at the same races so I will be able to focus properly on the C1 races and hopefully get back to full confidence again. I am going to need to plan my winter training to include some slalom C1 work (and WWR C1) - at the moment my plans are mostly based around WWR K1 with some slalom K1 sessions on top, but I'm quite sure I will get back to where I need to be next season.

I don't think my confidence dent is anywhere near as bad as everyone else's in this thread!

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by DaveBland » Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:23 pm

I think everyone has confidence slumps and lows. It's just that it's not that talked about with all the bravardo. Having said that, I've always... [no that's a lie] in the last decade, been very comfortable not paddling something just because I'm not feeling like paddling that day. Having saidthat I skipped the Oetz about 30 years ago as I "wasn't in the mood"...

My current confidence low is coming from having let my level of strength and fitness slip. I've never been a gym/workout kindaguy, but always been doing something, so kept in reasonable shape. Thelast couple of seasons have seen life catch up and a coupleof minor injuries/groin strain, shoulder tweak, ear drum blown – have seen me doing way less. Plus I had a bad swim when I was trying to push it again.

It's crap, but either the love of paddling will kick my arse into gear or it won't. I'm hoping it will. I've got 4 months of cold to sort it. That should be enough.

Ultimately, ww is too unpleasant a sport to do if you dont enjoy the buzz still. Cold wet, scared, knackering. If the buzz has gone, best find something else to do.

There's always fishing :(
dave

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by Chalky723 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:37 pm

DaveBland wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:23 pm
There's always fishing :(
Funnily enough that's what I've been doing while waiting for things to heal!

:-)

D
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Re: Broken nerve

Post by gp.girl » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:55 pm

LV went really well. Alright I swam but nerves were pretty good and even tried the wave on the back straight. Side surf good front surf made for a swim but I still have the a try to roll before I bail reflex. Roll still not working but as trying once is a massive improvement I'll go with that :)

We are trying the playwave at Ironbridge tomorrow. This might be a wet session and I can add the Severn to rivers I've swum! ;)
I can roll :)

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by Jim » Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:02 pm

Good!

Artificial courses can be intimidating in different ways to rivers, but they usually make you develop faster reflexes which will be beneficial.

Take plenty of spare kit and warm clothes to Ironbridge and intend to have a wet session with lots of (hopefully) rolling. If you can do 2 or more short sessions taking a break to get dry and warm in between do that.

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by gp.girl » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:38 pm

Well the little blighters seem to be ok now. I went for safe but not hiding in the eddies at Ironbridge. Did pretty well at break in, out and ferry glide using the waves even if they were very changeable. This means I can add the Severn to the (quite short) list of rivers I've paddled but not swum!
Saturday was a long day starting with the section above horseshoe for a very long warm up and then a quickie down to MEM. Did the seal launch ramp without the wobbles. Serpents went fine although I would have liked to do a few laps.
Sunday was playing at MEM. Well alright quite a lot of filming from the eddy but I did go in eventually. 1st surf good. 2nd surf got stuck , capsized, almost rolled then rescued. Bottom wave better - 5 attempts 4 upside down exits and 4 roll attempts with some successful and no swims. Still slow to get going and no surprise not very good at surfing but massive improvement from not even trying or falling straight over and swimming.
Probably overdoing the thermals but staying warm or even overheating a bit encourages a well give it a go attitude for me.
I can roll :)

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by LucyLou19 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:09 pm

Thats awesome!!! You rolled!!! Well done :D

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Re: Broken nerve

Post by gp.girl » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:05 pm

Even the GTS was fine on LV and it an excess of enthusiam or possibly madness I'm going to try a wet session next week. Got 2ish hours so plenty of time for swimming and that elusive second try at a roll. Although bracing, successful or at least upright surfing and and just trying to roll will do :)
I can roll :)

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