In the 8+ hours a day that I do not get to spend biking, blogging, working out, hanging out with my wife or sleeping (so in essence, that time I am at work earning the money that allows me to do the things I listed above) I work in the training department at my company. My job is to mould new hires in my image (OK the thought of this has sent people screaming into the night, but as usual I digress.)
One of the first lessons I learned as a trainer was to steal mercilessly. Now I need to be careful here. I do NOT mean steal from the company, nor do I mean to steal people s lunch out of the company fridge (there is a special place in hell for those who do that on purpose). What I mean is: If you see an exercise or an idea that works well in a class, then make it your own! Most of us trainers love it when someone tells us they used our idea and it worked!
I know what y’all are thinking “Tony, this is all well and good, but who cares?” “The blog isn’t titled 10000 Classrooms of Advice!” “What gives?”
Well the reason I tell you this is because I am stealing (shall we say borrowing) the idea of this Blog from a book I read. (Twice actually, it was that good). the book is “Hike Your Own Hike” by Francis Tapon. He lists a number of life lessons he learned while hiking the Appalachian Trall. I am going to reread this soon, so I will do a few review for him at a later date.
But, the reason I am talking about this is I tell myself on almost every ride, “Ride your own Ride son!” It means do what is right and best for you in every ride you take! Maybe your bike isn’t the best, (I speak from experience) who cares, if it works for you, then its perfect. Biking next to people who are dressed head to toe in the latest biking fashion, while you are in cargo shorts and your “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirt? Doesn’t matter as long as you are comfy. My first 5K run ever, I ran in hiking shorts with my keys, wallet and Swiss army knife in different pockets.
My buddy Virg to this day tells me I was wearing hiking boots as well! (NOT true) It worked for me though!
Every year for the STP, there are people who ride it one and two days, ride it on single speed bikes, and even unicycles. There is even this guy:
Who does the entire 200 miles on a long board! Why do they do this, because the Ride their own ride!
I get passed by faster bikers ALL the time, and there are times when I am in the middle of a long ride I think, “Dammit I am going to catch those SOBs!” But then I think ride your own ride son! I push it when I ride, so when people pass me, I am almost at my top average speed. There’s a great chance I could catch them and stay with them, till I couldn’t anymore. Then I’d have a LONG way to go and I’d be hurtin!
There’s other times, though, when I look down and I am flying! The stars have converged and its one of those days you feel NO PAIN! Through my mind I hear “Dude, you better slow down!” But in these times I My “ride” is me being “THE WIND” I turn it loose! I love these rides!
So in a nutshell what am I trying to say here? Ride (or run, or walk or, HELL, Blog) in the way that is best for you! If it takes you 3 hours to do a route someone else did in 2, so what? If you have to push the bike up a hill instead of riding it , doesn’t matter! If you want to run a mile walk a mile, great! And Blogging is wide open, write as much or as little as you want.
The key, is be safe, and have fun! (Blogging safety REALLY isn’t a factor but for the rest….) If you have a good time in whatever endeavor you undertake, AND come home more often than not unbruised and not battered, you will likely go again!
Last night, on my way home from dinner with my youngest, I stopped in Seattle to “Do Stairs.” I have a set of stairs that go up Capitol Hill. There are 297 steps. I start from the bottom and go up and down 7 times. Its great cross training. While doing this, I saw a guy doing one small section of 20 steps. UP and DOWN. Must’ve been 20 times. I almost told him he’d get the same workout going from bottom to top of the whole thing, but it hit me, he was doing it his way NOT mine! This man is what prompted me to do this post!
I look forward to each and every ride I take outside (Not so much the shed rides, but they get me ready for outside). Even if I am going on a short 20 just to get the stink blown off me, I am outside, and enjoying EVERY minute of it!
So if you EVER feel like others are showing you up, or you are just having a bad work out this time, remember what I said. Ride your own Ride! The only person that matters is you, and as long as you are out there making progress, covering miles and not turning into a couch spud, you have my vote!