I'm a little confused about the correct way of using tense in clause.
For example, I was writing descriptive text about a skiing experience with my friend, which goes:
So, to help her, I gave her my kneecap, gloves, hip pads, which are all designed to alleviate the pain when you fall.
Since the purpose of the protective clothing is to alleviate pain, which is a general truth, my use of "are" in the relative clause is correct?
More importantly, both the instructor and I told her that the only way to really master the skill is to bravely and decisively execute the actions, and to feel the subtle shift of weight within your body.
Should I use "is" or "was" here? I don't think the words that I told her is a general truth, but only a mere personal claim. So, according to the rule, if the independent clause is in past tense, the subordinate clause "that the only way..." must be in past tense?