You never know when a lesson in life is going to present itself to you. Keep your ears and eyes open … there are a lot of lessons out there waiting for the right time to present themselves to you!
I tend to be a bit competitive. OK, for those of you who are already guffawing, quite competitive, especially with myself. I track every meter on my rowing machine (21 million and counting) and every mile on my bike (5000 and counting). The Strava mobile app gives me even more data – specific segments that are timed with all-time best and age group data. As a data “geek” … I thrive on this stuff and love it! Ask anyone who knows me well.
When I cycle my 20+ miles on the bike trails through Redmond, Woodinville, and Bothell in Washington I usually ride with a simple credo: “Pass. Do not get passed.” If I were to count, I’m sure I’m at 99.9%+ on this – passing overwhelimingly more than ever getting passed
Today, I caught site of a rider with about 5 miles left in my 23 mile ride. I was a bit tired having pushed hard for 2 timed segments already and fought into the “wind” for 12 miles. Nonetheless, I set my sights on him. This type of competition keeps me going, no matter how tired I might be. “You’re all mine, dude, here I come!!!”
I closed the gap by about 50%, never catching him. I don’t think he shifted gears once, he stayed in his gear and pedaled steadily for the duration that I had scoped him out. How did he do that so well?
I failed. I failed miserably.
I tried hard, but could not get closer than about 50 yards (meters) from him. I was very disappointed and glided in the last 1/4 of a mile. “What the hell? Why couldn’t I catch him?”
But, after further review, all was not lost. I got to my car and cooled down, I looked at my ride statistics on Strava. Actually, not bad at all. 19.3 mph average for 23 miles, the first half at 18.9 mph and the last 11.5 miles at 19.7. I was pumping for that second half.
Then I checked my segment times. I set two personal all-time bests. The first segment (0.9 miles) I was ready for and focused. I beat my best time by 10 seconds. (See my earlier post.) I still need 5 seconds better to break into the top 5! Believe me, I’m painfully aware.
The second segment, only 1/2 mile, I beat my best by 5 seconds and wound up with the 4th best time in the 55+ age bracket.
So, in my defeat (alleged defeat, that is), I wound up setting an unplanned and unexpected personal best. Not too shabby, when all is said and done.
It Ain’t What You Thought!
My entire body chemistry changed once I realized what I had done. I went from “How did I not catch him? He must be way younger than me.” to “Holy cow, I blew my best time away!” in a matter of seconds. Any hint of defeat was annihilated by the exhilaration of realizing that, without even trying, I set a personal best. HOLY COW (with emphasis for Phil Rizzuto – the long-time Yankees broadcaster)!!! I had no idea …
Remember, when you do your best at what you can do, you NEVER are a loser. You never lose. You did the absolute best you’ve ever done! That is AWESOME!
It doesn’t get much better than that. Revel in the moment. Enjoy what you have done. You ROCKED!
Michael Massetti is a global high-tech supply chain executive who really does enjoy being a supply chain professional! Seriously. He is also a life-long athlete who continuously pushes himself to be competitive.