A recap of Andrea's first Bike to Work Week: 5 Life Lessons
Now – not only do I own a car, but I work unconventional hours – AND – it’s about 12 kms, uphill (both ways, obviously). There has never really been a compelling reason to ride my bike to work, or take transit for that matter (I drive a Prius, isn’t that basically almost transit?) until I was asked to join this team. Why would I say yes? Well, I’m not one to shy away from anything that builds community, and to be honest: I’ve actually said “I’d love to ride my bike more, but….” and I was openly thrilled at the idea of having an opportunity to try it.
So, I did it. I rode my bike to work. How did it go? It was perfect. It was absolutely perfect and in the beautiful, tree-lined streets of my “morning ride” (no really, go watch that video) - I knew that I had a lot to share from my experience of totally going for something that you’ve always wanted to try.
1. In the absence of talent and experience, effort will count
If you’re trying something brand new, this is it. I’ve wholeheartedly embraced a solid 1:1 ratio of effort and showing up. I have been dead-last in Crossfit workouts, I have finished marathons with old people and I’ve fallen flat on my face in a trail race (that only happened once). I also considered walking my bike up every hill in front of me. But here’s the thing: I got better. You will too. You will improve at everything that you consistently show up for. Effort counts.
2. Commitment must trump excuses
I made a commitment to do this project. On the 1st day it was raining, on the 2nd day I had a meeting and no way of getting my clothes to work. On the 3rd day, I had to pick my son up from the bus and on the 4th day I was so tired I couldn’t fathom the idea of getting on my bike. They’re all reasonable excuses but I know (from experience) that those reasonable excuses will literally suck the results right out of you. What kind of results was I after? Completion. I was interested in doing what I said I was going to do. If you’re looking to try something new (like exercise?), please make a commitment – to yourself. You’re the only one you should be trying to impress.
3. No seriously, ask for help.
Asking for help is generally like that.
I went to my family, employer, neighbourhood bike shop, the HUB community, some local businesses and my co-workers. I asked for help. Not ONE person turned me away.
EA made sure there were no barriers for any of us, HUB gave us everything we needed, someone at work let me follow him all the way to work, someone else let me follow him home. My family made my lunch for me. My coworkers forgave me for being 45 minutes late on day 2 when I got lost. I TOLD them all that I had made this commitment and needed help. TRY THAT!
4. Tools Matter
Born and raised at Studeo55 – the professional athletes I work with taught me that looking good is feeling good and feeling good is playing good. No, I kid (sort of). Let’s just talk for a minute about getting the right tools. It’s a Tony Robbins thing. If you’ve made the commitment, you’ve asked for help and you’re taking action – just make sure that your tools aren’t holding you back. Case in point: my bike felt weird, asked for help – turns out it’s the wrong size for me. Get the right tools: don’t let that be a silly excuse for not doing something you’ve always wanted to do.
5. Hills make you stronger
I knew this, but I asked Coach Patrick for the science. You increase the resistance, you increase your strength. No effort, no gains. It is that simple. Does getting stronger matter? That’s up to you.
On the 5th day – I rode tree-lined streets with ease, crushed the hills that only days before I had contemplated walking up. I arrived to a party that EA threw for us. Local business came, teammates came, the high-fives abounded. We all rode our bikes to work that week – maybe some of us tried something new – maybe some of us got stronger (I know I did). And I bought a new bike on Sunday.
We are in the working hard business at Studeo55, and we salute every effort you make. Those things you’ve always wanted to try? Go do them.