Monday, December 22, 2008

How to become a cycling god.

I have a whole week off for Christmas.  With this new found freedom from work, I have been struggling these last few days on deciding what to do.  Well, this morning I awoke to an epiphany.   Let me preface this with a little background on myself. 

I have been riding and racing bicycles for the last ten years and have had a good time doing it.  Ever since I started riding, a goal of mine was simply to become a cycling god.  Needless to say, this didn’t happen.  This is the type of goal that is easier said than done.  I am not claiming that it is impossible, just that it is not as easy to attain as simply saying it.  Actually, it took me about six months of riding to realize that a less ambitious goal was needed.  I gave up my dreams of the tour, and instead focused on winning local group ride sprints to city limit signs.  But why?  Maybe what was limiting me was not my physical prowess, but my lack of a single-minded focus on attaining my goal.  Or maybe it was my college physiology classes and study of kinesiology (note the fancy word, which shows I am really smart) that lead me down the same path to nowhere that all the traditionalists are headed.  

I have spent a number of years researching physiology, sports psychology, and race tactics, but still have yet to honored with the badge of “mutant” or “genetic freak.”  I am thought of as a racer, but I want more than that.  I want other riders to lament even lining up to race when I pull up to the line.  I want people to secretly wonder if my mother was a cheetah and my father a gorilla.  I want Mothers to hold on to their children when I ride by for fear of them being blown over from my wake.  It seems that I’ll never get there unless I re-think my approach.  

Now, to the epiphany: Why not spend this week fully focused on attaining my long held goal?  “What is different today than yesterday,” you ask?  Let me tell you.  Instead of trying to doing what everyone else does, I will outside the box.  Why rely on the perspective of someone that builds upon the unstable foundation established long ago, when maybe it is a fresh look that is needed.  Heck, if the fundamental training and racing principles established in years past are holding us back, let’s build a new foundation - one which can support the weight of the cycling gods of the future? (myself included, of course) 

Where to start?  At the beginning, of course. 

Einstein is generally regarded as a smart guy.  And from my research, I see that he was an avid cyclist.  (Well, at least I found this picture of him riding a bike.  He seems happy enough, which Smartest_Cyclist_Evertells me he must really enjoy it, and hence trains a lot.) Anyway, Einstein is quoted as saying that if he had one hour to save the world, he would put 55 minutes to defining the problem and only 5 minutes to solving the problem.  Now, that is a fresh look.  That is thinking outside the box!Of course, I am not trying to save the world, so I probably don’t need to spend that much time defining the problem.  How complicated can riding a bike fast be when compared with the problem of saving the world?  In perspective, riding fast is easy.  I probably just need to shift into a big gear and turn it over really fast.  At this point you are probably thinking, “It’s not that easy!”

Of course it’s not.  Becoming a cycling god certainly takes more than that.   There are problems with the press, dealing with all the time zone changes from my many international ventures, even the continuous autograph sessions can get to be tedious after a few weeks. But I got it under control. 

You see, I have substantially more time than the hour Einstein was worried about.  Heck, with Christmas vacation, I can devote the rest of the week figuring out what I need to do to reach god-hood and then maybe the weekend to executing it.  I’ll then take a little time off, and then by New Years plan on hiring a press agent and Manager.

Marty McFly once said, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”  Hey, if McFly said it, it must be true.  Of course he had a time machine, which made things a little easier.