Monday, May 5, 2008

A little graduation present for me...and the Rubber Band

So, I could attend graduation ceremonies on May 17th, but I'd rather be at Kern. So, instead, I decided to hook myself up with some primo regalia. That chrome is for the summa cum laude, baby! I finally caved, because I keep making my back sore racing bikes that don't fit me at the track. A sore back is not helpful for my training in general, so I'm adding yet another bike to the stable....



OK, so on to the philosophical portion of the blog....

Our minister was giving an interesting analogy this weekend about the spiritual life being like a rubber band. Where you are supposed to be is at one end and where you are is at the other. And, ideally, there is some tension there with the aim of pulling you to where you are supposed to be. But, often, we relieve the tension by lowering our standards, rather than moving toward where we should be.

I was thinking that this analogy also works in bicycle racing and other athletic endeavors. We need that tension between where we are now and where we want to be in order to make us better. Lowering our standards to relieve the tension does not work, but it is a big temptation. This is the sand-bagging phenomenon - entering races that are below ones level to induce a false sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, pushing our expectations too hard, can lead to over-tensioning or 'snapping' of the rubber band. It can lead to despair and burn-out. Finding that mental balance is the key. Putting your expectations high enough, but not too high. Letting yourself be challenged is the key to improvement. For me, this is a difficult balance and one I will try to achieve in all areas of my life.

8 comments:

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

That's a great analogy. Find the balance...

CyclistRick said...

Ooohs and ahhhs, and there will probably be a few "it's about time" comments since we know some folks were just waiting for you to get a bike that fit. Now we will have to tweak gearing, and fight over who gets to ride with the Nimble wheels.

Interesting analogy. And good. Now we need to start a 'Sandbaggers suck' campaign (even though I was accused of being a sandbagger earlier this year).

Cathy L. said...

Sweet ride!!!

Chris said...

Good analogy. The new bike is awesome!

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

wow...cool new bike! I'm so jealous! I hope its super-speedy! I wish I lived closer to a track.

Kern is coming...that'll be an adventure.

marscat said...

love that bike

chatterbox said...

panda - yep. balance!

rick - you are SO not a sand-bagger. Yes, it's about time for me to have a fitting track bike.

cathy - thanks!

chris - thanks!

kim - yep, track is so far the funnest type of racing, I think. I can't wait to experience Kern - see you there!

marscat - yes, it's super-nice, especially if the headset has the right amount of spacers :)

Groover said...

Very nice bike ... and great analogy. I'm usually mixing up ambition and my ability ... .

I had five guys in my grade in the Tour de Tablelands this year who up until last year raced one grade higher. And guess what: Some of them got placings. Surprise, surprise! Makes it very hard for everybody else but can they truly enjoy their success?