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Tour de France: Pushing Yourself Really Hard!
The 21 stages change every year. The roads are sometimes cobble stones, sometimes sleek with rain (the race is never called for rain or snow), sometimes icy, and sometimes incredibly smooth and fast. Each day the course varies as well, sometimes being extremely mountainous and favoring guys who are great climbers and great going downhill, controlling their bikes around curves. And sometimes the stages are flat or have flat finishes and favor sprinters.
Making Practice Really Hard
As I was watching the time trial, the announcer was discussing how the current rider actually practiced this course multiple times before the race. But he practiced it riding a mountain bike, a bike that is way heavier than the race bike he would actually use on the course during the race. So he made the practice really hard on himself, really hard to do. And I thought about how if he practiced riding as fast as he could on the mountain bike, over and over, then when he rode his much lighter time trial race bike, he must have felt like he was flying. He forced himself to get stronger and better by being tougher on himself in the beginning. He challenged himself purposely. And I thought about the first time that biker road that mountain bike on the time trial course and how hard it must have been. And then every day it got a little easier.
But, the key is to continually push yourself really hard. Never coast (yes, I know it’s a bicycle term, but it works). If you persist in always pushing; if you work at it more than you need to, with more effort than you need to, over and over and over, then when the time comes to do it, it will be much easier. And you can win! And you find that something that at one time was very difficult is now pretty easy and you are ready to tackle the next obstacle. And the feeling of success and mastery and constant growth is great!
So what are my take-aways from this?
1.Constantly Challenge and Push. 2.Never Coast. Don’t Back Off or Slack Off. 3.Make A List of The Mountains You Conquer. Glory In Your Achievements 4.And Finally, Go On To The Next Mountain.
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growth Lessons Learned
As I have already mentioned, I love riding my bicycle. I also love watching the Tour de France, the 21-stage bike race that takes place annually in France.
Watching the guys on their bikes, riding day after day, way over 100 miles each day super-motivates me.
Bruised and Banged Up
As the last week rolls around, the riders are exhausted, they are often bruised and banged up, but they push on giving it their all. I think about how the riders, in preparation, ride every day, all year, 5 to 6 hours a day to practice, get better, get ready for this King of Kings race.
The Time Trial
One of the types of stages that is the most boring for me to watch is the time trial. Most of the 21 stages are flat out races where the entire peloton (group of riders) race at once. But at least one of the stages is a time trial where one at a time, each individual rider goes over the same course, racing for the best time he can get on his own without worrying about where the other riders are or getting any support or help from the rest of his team.
And I thought about how in pro baseball a batter puts weights on his bat when he takes practice swings before coming up to bat. So he can really swing that bat when it counts.
And then I wondered about applying this to business. And how the first time you try something new in business, it is really, really hard. And how the next time it gets a little easier. And so on. It’s not all linear. Sometimes, it gets momentarily harder and there is a huge temptation to give up; to throw in the towel and go with the thought that you will never get it.
More Lessons Learned From Sports:
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Tour de France: Pushing Yourself Really Hard