Monday, April 6, 2009


I apologize to any readers who frequent this blog to read race or ride reports, details about training, or tidbits of information into the intricacies of equipment/nutrition/lifestyle/etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading/writing race reports, discussions of how to make your machine 200 grams lighter, and what the best tasting hammer gel on the market is…I simply don’t have any mental capacity lately to dwell on these mundane and trivial details.

I’m kind of struggling just to keep the big picture in my crosshairs. A few Fridays back, I had breakfast with a good friend/former educator of mine. We discussed how one person’s touch is immeasurable. In short, there’s no way of telling what impressions or how your influence is felt by another person. However, when you stop and strive to be cognizant of this idea, it can really affect how you go about your life and how you interact with those around you.

Last week, one person muttered a few words to me about racing that I was left relentlessly pondering. The idea was simple, concise and to the point.

Don't quit: I've had a number of good finishes in races that seemed to be completely out of my control. They go down in my journal as epic. You keep picking up the cards that are dealt to you, play them, sometimes they turn into the winning hand. Sometimes you have to hang in long enough for the race to come to your level, if you don't quit you will be happy when it does, maybe even epic!

I came to the realization that the implications of these words stretch so much further than simply racing a bicycle. It’s really a great metaphor to use as a framework for life. In essence, sometimes everything boils down to simply persisting on putting one foot in front of the other. No matter how fast or slow, you must keep moving forward. The moment in which you feel your external factors are too intense or out of your control and you choose to throw in the towel, you surrender your one simple right that no one person is able to take from you: your ability to choose your attitude. Whether you believe it or not, we all are products of our choices, not our circumstances.

If I were to look at my life as a race right now, things are over my head! This race is out of my control or my influence. I have two choices. I can pack it up or I can keep putting one foot in front of the other until the race comes to my level. Perhaps the result may even be epic.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
-Lance Armstrong