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Can a Partner Teach You to Ride?

I feel that I’m becoming a more competent rider, and I’m loving it so much I find myself wanting to go further, maybe even train for a rally or a motocross race.

However, I can’t afford professional lessons, and whenever my partner tries to give me advice, I just get embarrassed and can’t do anything. What can I do?

–  Alex

Dear Alex,

Learning from a partner is often one of the biggest challenges in a relationship, and that’s before throwing your potential dream of competing in a sport you share into the mix. But professional lessons are expensive, and money is an issue…so what to do? If your partner is able to offer accurate advice, in a positive manner, and you trust his skills, then the challenge is to  use his help without becoming embarrassed and distracted.

Reading, watching videos, and talking to those already in the area you want to move into can help you figure out where to devote your energy, what to practice, and narrow down what you still need to learn. Take the information you’ve gleaned, create a concrete list of the skills you want to learn, and then develop a training plan you can follow. If you decide your partner is the right person to help you, then agree that each session should focus on a single skill, and your partner should only offer feedback when you both agree it is ‘lesson time.’

A willingness to accept honest feedback is an important skill to possess, especially when wanting to learn something new. Being vulnerable isn’t always easy, and recognizing the annoying inner voice that leads to your embarrassment may help to disarm it when it’s getting in the way. Focusing your attention on what you need to be doing when the ‘don’t look stupid, you should know this,’ voice is yelling at you is no different than ignoring a pothole in the road. Training your mind to not only look where you wan to go, but to commit fully to following through, will allow that nagging distraction to fade.

By limiting your training sessions, zeroing in on a single skill at a time, and keeping your attention on the task at hand, you may quickly find yourself ready to tackle your first rally or race, this time with your inner voice as your loudest cheerleader.

Want to ask Lynda a question? Post it in the comments below, or email us: womenadvriders@gmail.com

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1 comment

Shabnam Akram 2018 November 2 at 2:08 AM

This is so relevant a question! One that has me advising most women to never learn from a partner. The same person… as long as he /she is friend only, will be perhaps one of your best teachers. Becoming a partner changes the dynamics.

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