Wilz brings us a rambling parable about the nature of change

Wilz brings us a freeride field report disguised as a rambling parable about the nature of change.

The King is dead?
After a recent riding sesh i got to thinking how as mountainboarders we have to adapt, how we evolve, and how this reflects on life in general. Some people love change and make changes in their lives often. Others dread change and agonise through it. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, enjoying a certain amount of change, but not too much. It is of course inevitable, whether it be anticipated or unexpected. Like the seasons.  We all have changes in our circumstances, sometimes big, radical changes in our lives, and we consider small changes daily. You might want to change your board or ride a new location, get a different haircut or go to a different pub, move house or go travelling. Sometimes you yearn for change and feel like nothing will, sometimes change seems all around. Dealing with it can be easy or tricky, challenging or frightening, but odds are once you get your head round it, things will be ok.KW_1 Maybe it’s coz i’m getting older, maybe it’s coz we’re soon to be in the year 2010, but I got my contemplative head on so i’m going to use this example as an analogy (ooooh, get him) to ponder and beard scratch about the nature of change… Also, you don’t get this kinda shit anywhere but remolition! KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAKings wood in High Wycombe has featured on rem before, in the terrorist bomb article and in a ‘wilz woods’ photo diary. It’s kinda like the backyard for MBS as it’s pretty close to most of the core remolitionaries and is the local haunt of Mr Dan Wilson, aka Wilz, aka Decreate. That’s me, btw. In the future, i see this area full of mountainboarders and Kings Wood is some kind of mecca, like Mavericks is for surfers (ok, I’m slightly biased). Kings has a little something for everyone and offers varying terrain for different times of year. You adapt to the conditions. Now it’s really wintery, the bombhole is out of action and the longer steeper runs are opened up fully. Bridleways, footpaths and un-tracked lines offer great fun for wheelieboard enthusiasts. So it was time for another rem crew meet-up at Kings and upon arrival it became clear this wasn’t gonna be a normal visit… Rog, Spud & Sam had got there for a few runs before the rest of us (Smilie, Kerry, Daz, Jed and John) and bore the news ‘the daddy’ (main run area) was unrideable due to felled trees. Notices pinned to trees about Coppicing confirmed that the whole wood is being thinned out, leading to mass felling everywhere. (Coppicing is the art of cutting of trees and shrubs to ground level, allowing vigorous regrowth and a sustainable supply of timber for future generations. It is basically large-scale pruning). It seemed change was upon us whether we liked it or not. We cracked on regardless, hitting great starter ‘Yaffle glade’ and dropping the gulley run before deciding to head away to the far side of the wood where it may be clearer. A bit of a trudge and we session a fun spot with some techy tight stuff on the side. Slashing the wet leaves and spraying up some mud. Losing lines and making new ones. Sweet little airs off the ridge at the bottom. Rog decides it’d be cool to drop-in off a tree, which it is, and we all have a jib about.

On to our destination, the other longest run in the woods- usually a cool minute(-ish) of speed, sweeps, carves, slides and scrubs before a natural kicker and down to a sharp blind right or mini-path-to-grass rollout. Unfortunately the felling had continued here in even bigger style, blocking the run completely. It felt like sabotage, like someone had come along and purposely ruined our fun by chopping down loads of perfectly good, huge beech trees and leaving them all over our best runs. Anger, frustration, sadness etc. Bar Stewards. We trudged back round and made the best of it by sessioning what we could. We pulled some fallen shit out the way to take you onto the big straight bridle path and started using the fallen trees/logs that had been left next to the top drop as fun boxes; grinding, donking, tapping and (attempting) to board slide them. Riding mutated. It was great fun, though thank heavens for buttpads 🙂   We rode more where we could, creating new lines, and before we knew it, dark was coming. De-pad, head home, reflection time. So, although this is actually just a pretty-normal tale, some blokes riding boards in the woods one day in November 2009, I thought it was worth expanding the mention due to the bigger picture, the changeable nature of stuff and how we adapt, which is why this has become an article and not just a little blog entry or field report. No matter how safe, secure, predictable and stable your life is, you will still have to cope with change along the way. Change is a normal and essential part of life, yet, paradoxically (gotta love a paradox), when we’re in the middle of it it can feel anything but normal. Change obviously come in all shapes and sizes, but ways to deal with it (whatever shape) are similar. It doesn’t make any difference whether you’ve chosen the change, been expecting it, or not: it will still impact on you. Like weather. Dealing with change is about transition, from one set of circumstances to another, and that takes time. KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA With this mountainboarding sesh as the example, thinking about just how much thinning-out has gone on can only mean the woods will get better (for riding) in the future, long after the logs have been chainsawed-up and taken away. The runs and indeed whole wood will be broader and brighter than ever before. It’ll all be alright, if not better. Quite why I decided to make some insignificant coppicing into a big, reflective self-help metaphor for change i don’t know, but i do know that it’s happening every second, to some more than others. Also, i’m slightly mental. And with that in mind, may I present a few remolicious pointers about change for those out there struggling with big changes…

  • People often criticise themselves for feeling moody when emotions are actually totally normal, especially in times of change. Don’t beat yourself up!
  • Change, no matter how good it is, means loss. When something in your life changes you lose the usual way of being or the old set of circumstances. Loss means grief and nostalgia.
  • Resist and it will be more painful. The secret is to be flexible and you can ride it out more easily. Think of yourself like a boat in a storm. Turn against the waves and they’ll crush you, go with them and they’ll carry you home.
  • Get support, don’t try to cope alone or keep your feelings to yourself. Talk about it, have a laugh and a cup of tea, a bit of reassurance does the world of good. When possible divide bigger changes into smaller steps, like giving a ladder rungs. However, it doesn’t work to leap a twenty-foot gap in two ten-foot jumps. Be brave!
  • Some changes feel awful and you have to look very hard to find the blessing but there always is one in the long-run. It’s through change that we grow wiser and stronger and learn to make better decisions.
  • All change comes to an end when the new circumstances are in place and become familiar to you. Every change, no matter how big, will end and you’ll return to a feeling of normality. Keep this in mind when you feel as though you’re in the middle of a bumpy ride… KW_994

Finally, before you think I’ve lost the plot, analyse too much, gone too weird or serious, and actually you’re too gnar and kewl; think again coz change is just round the corner.  Up your game, look at the bigger picture, roll with the punches. I’ll finish my ramble with some sage advice someone told me once, and hopefully if nothing else you’ll take this with you…

  • 1. Don’t sweat the small stuff!
  •  2. It’s all small stuff!

For more cheesey but true quotes on change go and read a few of these, then get your board prepared for your next session. Thanks for your time, my padawans.
Long live the King!
words by Wilz