Every day I cycle to work.
I love it and I hate it.
I hate it because it’s not easy and I love it for the same reason.
I believe love hate relationships happens quite often in life but sometimes we fail to recognise the love part of the equation.
I’ll give you another example.
Every morning on my way in to work (at 5am – I like to point this out as it makes me seem more hardcore) I’m filled with a little trepidation as I’m not sure whether I’ll be involved in a race that morning.
If you’ve not read my previous blog about riding into work you can read it HERE but basically I often get overtaken by another rider.
It doesn’t happen every morning, on average, it occurs around twice a week but when it does happen, it’s slightly annoying.
You see this “other” cyclist has a nicer bike than I do.
I’m not using this as an excuse, ask any anyone in the know and they’ll tell you the equipment counts (ohh errr).
Anyway, it always happens at the same point, on my ride in, on the first hill.
I’m pumping away, going at what I consider a fairly good pace (and struggling a little) when this bald headed older guy, wearing all the correct kit on his flash bike, glides past me with what seems like very little effort.
We’ve never spoken to each other, there’s no start or finishing line, in fact there’s no course but make no bones about it, when we meet on that road, this is a race, he knows it and I know it and HE ALWAYS WINS!
Whenever this race occurs, he wins and loves it, I’m the runner up and I hate it… but I also love it.
Because whenever this race occurs I cycle faster.
I become a better cyclist. I gives me a better work out and it knocks around two minutes off my journey.
I even learned to improve my bikes performance, by changing the tyres, which helped me go faster.
This technical enlightenment was born from this rivalry.
When this competition isn’t there, it’s an easier ride but I’m not pushing myself, in short, I’m not improving.
The competition is good, it keeps me on my toes (even if my toes aren’t encased in a flash pair of click-in state of the art snazzy expensive cycle shoes).
It’s possible to love and to hate.
I hate the way this bald man beats me so effortlessly but I love the way it improves my performance.
One guaranteed way to improve your performance is to compete (even if the competition is all in your head).