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I am in a serious funk now. My brain just seizes when I up the speed on my local trails, my fingers seem to be magnetized to the brakes, and my body feels like its moving in slow motion. I just can't get to just kill the fear. Of course, going Ricky Bobby is not a sane way of facing the fear but at least it helped him!

Downhill and freeride is such a big mind game, that if you just miss a corner and almost crashed, the first seeds of doubt are getting planted in your head. As much I am practicing the fundamentals almost religiously, the chance of getting things fucked up also increases. But riding everyday is my only trump card against guys with deeper pockets and better bikes, and now my only trump is causing me to implode and ride more defensively instead of getting more and more pinned.

My friends tell me I had improved a lot since I started riding with them, and I had only started racing DH last December of last year. They keep telling me that the only way to be faster is to buy a DH or FR bike. Your hardtail is holding you back. I call BS. I know a friend who just recently came back from a separated shoulder and after just a month he's killing it again. As for me? I was falling behind again. What is it they have that I am so desperately lacking? Of course there's always a douchebag in the group and our gang is not exempt, but he's getting results. He's a podium threat every race, and though people may not like him, he delivers the goods. I wish I can do that.

I am putting in a lot of effort now after my experiences in racing 4X and now DH, but it seems that I am not welcome. The Skills are now being replaced by The Fear. I am sick and tired of them saying "your hardtail holds you back. get a squishy." I can still squeeze more out of it. I am the weak link, but I don't know where to start. Or is DH and FR only meant for the few, the brave, the naturally talented?

Letting it go is so easy. Quitting is such an attractive proposition when you put in much effort for so little reward, and you see other people getting away with murder. For my friends to their credit, they are helpful enough. But I am unable to put their words into concrete action. Like when they say "lean hard", I find it near impossible to lean the bike just a couple of degrees. When they say "lay off the brakes", I keep holding on. They say "stop pedaling at the last moment," I stop pedaling at the FIRST moment. FUCK! What is wrong with me? I feel so frustrated and angry with myself when my mind goes on autopilot to bad habits instead of remembering the right things. I am stuck in a rut, and the rut is getting higher and higher. The seeds of doubt are growing into weeds.

No matter how many times I watch Fluidride or any bike video, I just can't seem to go above my speed threshold, nor at least try to follow what Lars and Simon are saying (like in brake modulation). I go above it, like I go the extra pedal strokes before coming in the corner, my balance and rhythm are thrown out of whack, and I can't turn the bike properly. It's as if my brain is hardwired to go not-so-fast.

If fear can be eliminated through a lobotomy, where do I sign up?

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