(1) It’s pretty obvious at this point that I am happy to practice on my deck when it’s warm and sunny, but I have no interest in doing so when it’s cold and foggy/wet in the morning, or when it’s cold and dark at night. This means no weekday practice.
(2) These last few months, I’ve considered taking a break from 30 Days. 30 Days is great, but stringing 17 of them together (minus half a month for the collarbone) makes it feel like something I have to do every day instead of a fun, short, month-long experiment.
Instead of continuing to write about why I didn’t practice on my unicycle each day, I will change 30×17. I will still do 30 days of learning to ride a unicycle, but instead of 30 consecutive days, it will be 30 days of practice. I do want to see if I can learn to ride a unicycle in 30 session-days.
This calls for a remapping. Only the days on which I actually practiced will count toward 30×17:
Day 1 – 3/2
Day 2 – 3/3 (not really a useful day but I did sit on the unicycle a bit)
Day 3 – 3/4
Day 4 – 3/5
Day 5 – 3/6
Day 6 – 3/9
Day 7 – 3/10
I am full of excuses this month. Thanks to Daylight Saving Time and my temperature sensitivity (wussiness), it was too cold this morning to practice on the deck. I brought my unicycle with me thinking I’d practice at the basketball court near the office after work, but ended up rebuilding a farm, having sushi, and helping Agent aktse try to level up instead.
Too bad, because this morning deebeecee emailed me and compared my “upright, aligned-with-the-unicycle” position to that of a fashion model or… drag queen.
Did another couple sessions on the deck today. I last just over 10 minutes per session before I start losing focus. Figured out in the afternoon that the way to counter my every-sport reflex to stick my butt back when I feel uneasy about something (which only serves to land you on your butt) is to tell myself, “Hips forward!” I’ll have to take pictures or video to confirm it, but I think that gets me into a fairly upright, aligned-with-the-unicycle position.
Made it the length of the deck a few times, but still unable to do so without the railing at my side. I wonder what kind of magical mantra I can come up with to fix that.
Got out on the deck twice today. On one hand, I can tell that I’m doing better. On the other hand, I’m still not able to ride across the deck reliably, and that really bugs me. I want to be able to ride NOW!
On the upside, I do believe what that guide from a couple days ago said. “One day, it will just… suddenly happen!”
I said I would write about each day to keep me honest, so I am honestly reporting that looking at the deck this morning, declaring that it was too wet to risk practicing on, and that I would do it after I got home from work, was a bad idea. Guess who hasn’t practiced in two straight days? Me.
Fortunately, tomorrow is Saturday, and I have declared that I will practice 3 times, 15-30 minutes each.
I hadn’t expected this in March, but I’m having weather issues. My unicycle tire is dirty from the deck because there was dirt all over it from the storm when I practiced yesterday. It was raining this morning, it’s currently raining out, and I don’t want to get dirt all over the house. So, no practice today. :(
Read another guide and watched another video. Maybe I can dream of unicycling tonight?
No rain this morning! The deck didn’t look super slick so I went out there to practice. Made it across the deck a couple times. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s a start. I wanted to finish with a final deck crossing, but it was hard to focus toward the end. That thing they said in the 80′s headband video about beginners not being able to practice for more than a half hour at a time is spot on.
This morning I ventured out to the wooden deck for my daily practice. It worked great. The railing is just the right height for me to reach for as I ride alongside, and allows me to stabilize myself with either a push or a pull, something I don’t have with a wall.
I’m able to do a max of 1.5 revolutions now without holding on. I can also balance a bit at a near standstill, semi-rocking backward and forward. This is all with the railing at my side, though. Some weird psychological thing kicks in when I try to ride away from the rail and I fall over after half a revolution.
Now that I’ve discovered this new wonderful learning spot, it’s going to be windy and rainy for the next 2-3 days. Back to scuffing up, er, practicing in the house.
A couple things I could immediately use from the videos I mentioned yesterday:
1. Railing push/pull, similar to what the kids were doing along the chain link fence, is great.
2. Getting onto the unicycle with support behind me instead of to my side is great too.
Today Aaron asked how he could support me, to which I replied, “I don’t need your support!” because I am stubborn. I also explained that suggesting on day 2 of a 30 day endeavour that I might need more than 30 days to achieve it implies that he doesn’t believe in me, followed by, “I don’t need you to believe in me!” also because I am stubborn.
Instead of just rocking back and forth in the little hallway with all the walls and doors to hold onto and maybe hit my head on when I fall, I tried to ride out into open space. I can make it all of 1.5 feet before having to dismount. I think there’s a mental block somewhere as I try to make a full revolution. Also, having Aaron come by in an attempt to provide support every 5 minutes was distracting. I kept having to tell him to go away. LOL.
On the upside, I can now emergency dismount off the back without landing on my butt.
I didn’t make it outside as planned. It’s freaking cold (for California) in the mornings and evenings right now. I should, though. Maybe if I wasn’t spending so many brain cycles getting ready to catch the bike so it doesn’t damage the floor in the house I could focus on riding and just let the bike drop when I need to step off.
Watched a couple more videos on how to ride a unicycle. I like this one quite a bit:
Deliberate practice, 80′s headband, visualization, failing better, etc. Right up my alley!
And for some motivation, if these kids can ride a unicycle, so can I.
Not much progress today. Aaron wasn’t happy about tire marks on the floor from yesterday, and I spent only a few minutes balancing in the hallway before deciding not to risk making any more marks on stuff, especially while he was right there being silently disapproving of what I was doing. I tried going outside to practice, but it’s cold and dark out and the first couple spots I considered don’t really have any support for a beginner like me. Actually, that kind of nails how I feel about things right now. Learning to unicycle is hard and I feel like I don’t have any support.
I’ll try to spend some time practicing on the deck tomorrow when the sun is out. It’ll hurt less to go splat on wood than on the concrete on the other side of the house.
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I should rephrase what I said about support. I shouldn’t need support. Rah rah support (and whatever the opposite of that is) is fluff. Positive or negative, it doesn’t change anything. If I want to learn something, it’s on me to learn it. It’s that simple.