NOTE: Make sure you read to the end to hear about my immediate skirmish right after publishing this post.
For my recent birthday, my husband gave me a new bike. I was delighted and surprised as we went to a local cycling store to check out the selection. I have always been an avid cyclist but over the years in our marriage, my desire to ride decreased.
A busy schedule, extra weight gained, the weather – all are valid reasons but all were excuses to avoid an activity that I once enjoyed. My husband had bought a new bike a few months before and was starting to ride more. He wanted me to join him on longer rides but realized I wasn’t motivated.
So he decided to buy me a new bike. And oh, what a difference it has made!
There are parallels to what I’m experiencing and what you may be experiencing in building your business. So here we go:
There will always be Resistance. Having the right tools help.
Resistance is a part of any cyclist’s ride. We happen to live near a few high-wind corridors and when we hit them while cycling, the ride quickly becomes grueling.
But what I didn’t know was that my cherished Giant Yukon mountain bike was also holding me back.
Mountain bikes are heavy for good reason. They’re built to ride over rugged terrain, filled with rocks and exposed tree roots. Their tires are knobby, designed to keep the bicycle steady on uneven surfaces. They’re great for outdoor trails. Not so much for road cycling.
Once I got a bike with road tires, I felt the difference immediately. First, my new bike (a Fuji Absolute LE) was lighter, weighing in at 22 lbs. compared with the MTB’s weight of 35, and second, the tires were road tires – thinner and the wheel base larger.
All that resulted in a faster ride. I was no longer fighting the bike. I now only had to fight the wind and my own level of resistance.
Resistance can come at you in many ways. You could be using outdated software or processes that take too long to do the job. But resistance can also come in the form of habits that don’t serve your goals.
Addicted to checking Facebook updates? Close the tab on your browser. If you’re working on a project that doesn’t need access to the Internet, disconnect from the signal. Take your laptop outside somewhere where you can write without thinking about getting online.
Are you distracted by your surroundings? Resistance can rear its ugly head by taking your focus away from your work and instead focusing on your messy desk. (“When are you going to clean this up, cowgirl?!”)
Believe me, I’ve been there. I know I can focus a lot better when I don’t have piles of books and papers on my desk (still, they stubbornly find their way there…).
If you know what brings the Resistance, you’ll be better equipped to head it off at the pass.
With Resistance, you are entering a battle. Put on the right armor.
Early in my marriage, I told my husband that I loved guys in cycling gear. I loved the cycling shorts, the jerseys, the helmets, gloves, shoes – everything. He informed me that he wouldn’t be caught dead in cycling shorts.
Ironically, after he bought a bicycle last year (he upgraded to a newer road bike this year) he bought a pair of long cycling pants. He ended up loving them and realized they were not only comfortable but kept him warm during the cooler fall weather.
Then he bought a long-sleeved cycling shirt and jacket. And I was smitten with him all over again.
But despite my gooey-eyed reaction to men in cycling clothes, there are practical purposes for them.
Years ago, when I was riding more consistently, I had several pairs of cycling shorts. I didn’t have any other types of cycling clothes but the shorts were a “must-have.” The main reason I loved cycling shorts was because the special padding made sitting in the saddle more comfortable and the tight, stretchy Lycra fabric kept the shorts in place as I pedaled away.
No matter how silly they may look to some, they help every cyclist who wears them.
Once I got my new bike, I realized that I didn’t have any cycling shorts that fit. So I found some in my size and bought them. And then I bought some tech tees, which has fabric that wicks moisture and is a heck of a lot more comfortable during long rides than heavy cotton tees.
And then I bought a pair of bib shorts (love, love, love them…). And then I bought cycling shoes. And socks.
What did all this gear do to my mindset?
It prepared me for battle.
Here’s the thing. Once I looked like a “serious cyclist,” I had a different mindset when I mounted my bike. I looked at high winds with a glint in my eye. Bring it, I silently said. I’m going to crush you with my super-cool Lake sneakers.
When you meet Resistance, you’re going to be in a battle. You need the right mindset for the conflict and having any advantage will help build your determination and endurance.
And endurance is the key.
Because Resistance’s goal is to wear you down, wear you out, and make you quit.
You can’t quit.
You must not quit.
You were not born to quit.
You were born to overcome.
The harder Resistance tries to discourage you, the tougher you have to be.
Wearing the right clothes while cycling gave me that toughness and determination.
The right armor is a mindset. It’s a perspective. It’s the fire in the belly, the eye of the tiger, it’s Rocky running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum.
Maybe you need to watch “Rocky,” or another inspirational film of the underdog beating the odds. Maybe you need to listen to Bill Conti’s “Rocky” soundtrack, especially “Going The Distance.”
Whatever you do, find your own inspiration that helps you armor up for battle.
I’m not a fan of boxing. But for whatever reason, the “Rocky” franchise captured my heart and inspired me to “go the distance.” If you’ve not seen, “Rocky Balboa,” here’s one of the best scenes of the film. Even if you did see it, it’s worth re-watching.
At this point, Rocky’s son, Robert is Rocky’s Resistance. But Robert has his own battle with Resistance going on and Rocky gives him some valuable advice.
Remember. Resistance will always try to beat you down. You just have to keep getting back up.
[themecolor](UPDATE)[/themecolor] After writing this post, I was inspired to find the “Rocky” soundtrack and downloaded the mp3 album.
I headed outside for a ride this morning, hooking my iPhone into a set of small external speakers and started the music. It was awesome.
Flying down the road, I heard the lyrics:
Trying hard now
it’s so hard now
trying hard now
Getting strong now
won’t be long now
getting strong now
Gonna fly now
flying high now
gonna fly, fly, fly…
And then…. I felt a hard bump and suddenly the wind was taken out of my sails.
I busted my rear tire.
A mile into my ride and I was literally flattened by Resistance. (“Ha! You think you’re going to write about me and remain unscathed? Amateur!”)
So I had to turn around, and walk back home on a fairly busy road wearing clothing that isn’t exactly the most flattering on a body like mine.
Since I wrote this post, I had Resistance in my cross-hairs.
I knew what was going on.
And I wasn’t about to let a busted tire ruin my day. I simply turned on the radio and walked a mile back with a grin on my face.
There’s always tomorrow. ;-)