Earn it

I did another gravel race today. I should be elated – I set a bunch of personal records on power and heart rate.

But I’m not elated. I’m not a very patient person and I think I expected to see results faster. And I know I’m seeing results so … what is it?

I actually felt worse than I look after the ride

In the simplest terms, biking rewards many years of consistent effort. And I’m basically 6 months or 2 months into giving consistent effort.

I’ve learned there are many things in life that can be obtained by brute force. Most business things don’t require many years of output. Instead, businesses are made up of projects that are thought of in 3, 6 or 12 month terms.

I’m pretty good at getting results when brute force works.

But brute force doesn’t make biking easier. You can’t brute force a 44 mile ride. In fact, it’s the opposite. You have to train so that eventually your heart rate stays down and your power output increases.

My bike coach explained it simply: “there are things in biking you have to earn.”

Another example comes from the movie Iron Cowboy (highly recommended). The main character talks about the many years of letting his body transform as he put in the work to be great at triathlons.

I’m drawn to racing bikes because it’s not something I’m good at. I was about to write that I don’t like putting in years of effort to get good at something. But that’s not true. I worked nine years at my company, grinding on it day in and day out, before we sold it.

So I guess I’ll have to earn it.

Celebratory beer post ride

I’m good with a new normal

Ryan Holiday’s post on not just letting things return to normal inspired this post.

I’ll start by saying I feel very, very grateful to be alive today. COVID-19 has been horrible and not everyone has been so lucky. My uncle died, my neighbor died, millions died.

Each day is a blessing.

Today I went to a Royal’s game with my kids and wife. It was the first event where things seemed to be getting back to normal. My kids loved it, my wife loved it, I loved it. I made it a practice to stay off my phone throughout the game.

And then we were rewarded with a walk off home run. Let’s see if I can share a link from Twitter:

Carlos Santana goes yard in the bottom of the ninth to win it.

I paid attention to the game. My family paid attention. And you could feel the home run coming if you were paying attention. I was able to notice many little moments that led to the walk off home run:

  • It was the first time my two boys were able to sit through an entire baseball game and stay interested.
  • Nicky Lopez made two run-saving plays in the sixth or seventh inning to keep the deficit at two runs.
  • The Royal’s Jorge Soler hit a ball 108 mph in the eighth inning that should have been at least a hit but was caught by the center fielder.

It just felt like a game that would swing back to the Royals. I would not have noticed that if I had played on my phone or if my kids got bored or certainly if we had left early.

I want to keep living a life where I can watch baseball for 9 innings with my family with bit a care in the world (other than the game).

Fasting

I’ve been trying intermittent fasting. It’s a simple concept and I am using a simple approach.

Concept: limit the number of calories you intake through intermittent fasting.

How: I don’t eat for a sixteen hour period. This is almost always 8 pm-11 am or 12 pm the next day (depends on when I can get lunch in).

Why:

Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.

Johns Hopkins Medical

On most days I have no problem skipping breakfast. Yesterday I even went for a bike ride and fasted for the Forst 30 minutes no problem. But today I am ravenously hungry and it is only 10 am. The difference is that I woke up at 430 am today whereas yesterday I was up at 6 am. So my waking calorie burning engine kicked in 1.5 hours early today.

It’s worth it though because I am eating lunch at KC Joe’s BBQ in an hour or so. Hooray!

Oh, and intermittent fasting has worked so far for me. I’ve lost 3 pounds in a few weeks.

“What’s next?”

My ten year old plays a lot of soccer and he has a great coach. The coach doesn’t just teach soccer, he teaches life stuff. When something bad happens, he yells out:

“What’s next?”

If the other team scores a goal, “what’s next?” If the referee makes a bad call, “what’s next?”

And this works for good stuff too. You score a goal, “what’s next?” You make a sick move, “what’s next?”

The point is, good or bad, you move on. You don’t dwell. It’s so easy to brood or celebrate in your brain. But in sports, in the moment, you have to move on and keep executing. After the game, the event, the moment, you can celebrate.

Kind of a boring life philosophy post. But my son is playing for first place in two weeks. His team started out rough but over two years the coach has worked with them. First it was the skills. Then it was mental toughness.

Grit stuff.

Here’s a pic of my son making a sick save.

Yes that is the pic on the front of my phone