“OKGOTTAGOSORRYIJUSTHAVETOGETTHISDONE. LOVEYOUBYE!” were my parting words to Adam on the phone this morning. I had driven out to the suburbs for my long ride (as much as I love Chicago, this city is admittedly not the best environment for biking) and watched the thermometer drop from 45, to 41, to 39, to 36 degrees over the course of my hour drive! Quelle dommage!
I had prepared with extra layers, just in case, but miserable cold-weather rides from the past haunted my memories and had me doubting myself. Would my legs be too cold to hit the power targets set for my workout? Would I mentally strong enough to put the temperatures out of my mind and focus on my workout? Or would the cold get the best of me? .... WOULD MY HANDS FALL OFF?! ;-P
I almost got back in my car and drove back to the city to do the workout on the Computrainers at WellFit, where I knew I would also have company. As soon as the thought crossed my mind though, I pushed it out. I turned off my head and hopped on my bike. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?! Well, low and behold, the workout went even better than expected.
As I defrosted on my way home, I reflected on how it is these moments – the ones where we are faced with an obstacle – that make champions. The decisions may seem like small and insignificant in the moment, but just as Gladwell touts the role of accumulative advantage in developing expertise in his novel, Outliers, I also believe in the power of accumulative daily decision-making. We tend to focus on big challenges and grand battles against adversity when we think about the making of champions. But those small victories, which we so often write off – “oh, it was nothing” – add up.
Coincidentally, I returned home to find a fabulous (and related) piece in my inbox from Ad. The blog post by Bret Sutton struck a cord. I leave you today with a quote from it that I particularly loved:
"The more my athletes face the paper tiger head on, challenge the brute and teach themselves to internally say ‘bring it on, because I’m not backing down’ the fear of the tiger is diminished. Every day you face him and call his bluff in training, the less effect he has on race day. It is years of fighting the paper tiger that makes you strong. When you’re able to defeat him on the biggest day of your career, that is about being an ultimate champion."
Each day is a new day – regardless of your pursuit, what decisions will you make to become a champion in your own right?