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Mojo... Lost & Found

Posted: 10.08.2017 BY Natty Cordon

To Austin Powers, mojo was not simply the essence of his libido; it was his raison d’être. When his mojo was stolen, not only did he despair at having to turn down the advances of Felicity Shagwell through fears of his own impotence, he also experienced something of a crisis of confidence in his own skill and ability to defeat Dr. Evil and inevitably save the world.

 

It came as a great shock to me this December when I suddenly felt like I had lost my mojo. I am not suggesting that I was in any way trying to save the world, or indeed that I became impotent (if such a thing is indeed even possible as a female), I simply seemed to lose my ability to roll.
 
People told me that it was a ‘head game’ and that if I was to find my mojo again then I needed to stop believing that I had ever lost it, but the evidence was insurmountable; my roll had completely deserted me. My once totally bombproof roll, simply didn’t work. I wasn’t panicking or rushing, I wasn’t afraid of being underwater, I couldn’t think of anything huge that had really changed, it was just gone.
 
I must admit that I was somewhat surprised by the knock-on impacts on my headspace. My overactive imagination suggested some unusual outcomes:

NO ROLL  =  NO CONFIDENCE  =  NO KAYAKING  =  
​NO PARTYING  +  NO FRIENDS  +  NO RELEASE
 =  NO PURPOSE IN LIFE

Although I knew that this was irrational, it was clear that I needed to sort my roll out, so I took the only sensible course of action; I asked Facebook for help! It was heart-warming for me to receive so many messages of reassurance from kayakers, even the big deals, who have experienced exactly the same situation. I was however saddened to hear that so many people get their knickers in a twist about things without knowing what to do next, so I have thrown together a few of the tips from friends and family that I found particularly useful.

1.  TALK   ABOUT   IT ​

​One of my friends explained how the biggest barrier he faced whilst trying to find his roll again, was his concern over what his friends would think. He kept it quiet and worked on things alone. To paraphrase Pink Floyd (badly), our ability to talk is what separates us from the animals; it is by showing our weakness that we can save ourselves from a metaphorical drowning. Your friends will be your greatest allies when you’re rebuilding confidence and if they’re not, find new ones. 

2.  TAKE   IT   BACK   TO   BASICS​

​Think about how you learnt to roll and strip things back again. For me, this meant going to some pool sessions so that I could get some consequence-free practice in. I even went as far as wearing goggles and a nose clip to make sure that I was totally comfortable underwater and had all the time in the world to consider set-up and execution. Relax your body, hands and set-up to let your blade find the surface of the water, rather than fixing its angle with a solid grip. If there are no consequences, you can slow things down fully to make your roll solid again.

3.  FIND   A   GREAT   COACH

​This can be tough but take the time to get it right, it probably matters the most. Avoid the people telling you that it’s a head game. Perhaps they’re right but it doesn’t help you to sort things out. Avoid the people telling you things like, ‘you’re brining your head up too soon’, or, ‘you’re leaning too far back’. Again, they are quite right, but these are most often symptoms of a weak roll, rather than being the underlying cause. A good coach will sit and watch. They will make recommendations for the slightest tweaks to your set-up and technique and could also help you to adjust your outfitting or equipment. These slight changes might just make an enormous difference. 

4.  BUILD   CONFIDENCE

​Once you have found your roll again, it’s time to make it bombproof and there is only one way. A bombproof roll is no different to any other roll, it is simply one that has worked hard for you and has pulled its weight in sticky situations. Get out there on some cold flat water, easy and then harder white water and roll like a trooper. If you’re going to artificial courses, make sure you mess around with mates doing boater x and such like to make capsizing and rolling feel natural again. Remind yourself that you can do it. Rekindle the feeling that a capsize is not a problem; when you roll before you think. That’s when you know that you’ve found your mojo again. 

If you try the tips above and have no luck, go back to step one and see what else your mates have up their sleeves. If all else fails, remember that in spite of losing his mojo, Austin Powers was still able to divert Dr. Evil’s laser and saved the world. A roll isn’t everything, just stay upright more.
 
If you’ve never seen an Austin Power’s film, make that step one instead!