The paradigm of climbing an endless mountain paints the picture of an athletic journey that at points will be fraught with endless comparisons to other athletes, and devastating setbacks with illness or injury. What if training and racing is more of an orbital journey? Your goal is one point of the orbit. At halfway, you can see your goal on the horizon.
Welcome to the cycling and alignment podcast, an examination of cycling as a practice and dialogue about the integration of sport, right relationship to your life. Welcome. Welcome yourself, listeners, you’re here. I’m gonna drink some water because hydration is life. We’re gonna start off drinking water today. I invite you to do the same. You know, if we’re all made of light and water than one you should drink more water but also to your water should be high quality. Should should should doo doo doo. All right, enough of that parenting stuff. Thanks for joining me for another episode of cycling and alignment. Today is a solo sewed as Chris is just so over me, I can’t find anyone else in here to play ping pong with not really actually, as I mentioned before, I’m like, oh, like, for Geminis in astrological universe. That means there’s two of me and like the sun sign, and then to me and the moon and the rising Venus. And then I don’t know how that stuff works. But my wife falls out a bit. And she’s basically explained to me, they’re eight people in my head. So I’m having conversation with the other seven of me. And that’s how that’s gonna go. It’s very handy. It’s like having a, an imaginary friend except in grown up life. Which we’ll talk about that today talk about how we reflect upon ourselves and how we view ourselves. But before I start that, I’ve got a public service announcement. public service announcements always have to be said in that voice like radio voice public service announcement. And I don’t normally like to make content about a timely thing. It’s supposed to be evergreen, but in this case, I gotta say something because I need to get the word out. I’ve had a massive amount of inquiries into my fitting services and into SMP sattell testing world, and also like shoes, and some other goodie projects that have been working on and that’s been great. But I got to let you guys know that I am moving offices. And my new location is TBD at this time. We are recording in the middle of February 2021 as of this, so if you listen to this in the future, you can just skip ahead few seconds. But the short notice is that I’ve been fitting in the same office in Boulder for over a decade. I’ve shared this space with panache, like aware and icore they make cool CBD recovery products. My buddy Don Powell runs panache cycle where they make the world’s best kit. Hashtag stretch pants. And we also share the shop with House of spin, which is a bicycle service shop run by Zack wise and the manager Jeff Wilbur. And that’s been amazingly helpful for me because the interesting thing about being a bike fitter in this day and age is that sometimes frequently you get bikes that are really complicated to work on. And I don’t need to learn all the mechanical nuance of re cabling, completely internal electronically wired BMC or hydraulically cabled, such and such several RP five. These are things that I’m not really interested in learning how to do and they would detract from my ability to learn all the things about coaching and fitting someone there’s a bike shop next door, I can just hand it off to Zach and say, Hey, buddy, here’s what we need to do, we got to raise the stem this much and move these extensions as much and I need to re cable it and then we’ll bring the rider in etc. And just as a side note, that’s an interesting way to do it from the fitting world right now if you bring a bike in that is semi cabled meaning capable of pedaling on the trainer. And this is a new bike. And we are assuming that we’re going to define things like reach and bar height and extension length in the case of arrow bars or bar angle in the case of normal bars and hood height and all those bits. Then when you cable after the fitting, it makes everything go much quicker and easier. So the mechanic exactly, just build a bike so I can pedal it. Anyway. That’s all going away now because house has been working on relocating, I’m working on relocating down and I’ve been looking at spaces in Boulder during the real estate shell game, which is very interesting. Right now in Boulder, there are a lot of properties in downtown Pearl Street that are going for between 30 and $50 a square foot plus triple net which is like you might as well just soft a leg and put that on eBay. I know I could get a lot from one of my legs but then I wouldn’t have a leg. And I don’t know. I’m sure I do fine but I prefer have to given the choice. So that’s all a work in progress. three jobs is a lot podcasting, like fitting in coaching. And I love working. And I love serving my clients and helping people. And it gives me endless amounts of energy. But there’s a point when you want to just chill out and relax a little bit, read a book on the fire. That is that I’m going to make some announcements on my website when my fitting services will be available again, but as of February 28, my shop will be closed. And as of right now, every single slot possible slot is booked from now until the 20th. So if you’re hoping to get in, I apologize, I’m not able to see you at this time, I’m working on a temporary fit solution where I can do little bits of work, like test saddle installations, shoe fittings for like shoes, these types of things, help people existing clients, you know, touch up their cleats, or do a touch up work from a previous full fit. But I won’t be accepting new fit clients for the immediate future. And I don’t know how long that time periods gonna be. But I will put some info on my website when I have a new space and some photographs. And I’m also going to revamp my website. And this is a great chance for me to recalibrate and consider where things are because to be honest, I was just racing my bike, and then people were like, Hey, you should be a coach. And then someone hired me as a coach. And then I became a coach. And then I was like, oh, now I’m in business. I didn’t go to business school. I didn’t do any of those things. I just started, people started paying me for my services. And that was 1516 years ago. And the business has grown since then. And I’ve been blessed with so many clients, then you have to go back and redo things and learn like oh wait, taxes, what are those, right? Oh, paperwork, accounting, right business licenses, all those bits, you know, you learn all those things by necessity. And now 15 years later, I have a real chance to take a breath and take a step back and recalibrate and reorient my business in the direction I want to go. And consider carefully a bit about what I want to put my energy into. And as a Gemini with eight people in my brain parts, I am a little bit energetically like a hummingbird I can go will say, all over the garden and from flower to flower without getting into a weird sexual analogy I’m talking about just metaphorically and energetically in business in the business world. And that can be good because that allows me to will say cross pollinate a lot of ideas, and weld things together in a way that’s very holistic and global. The downside is that my energy can become too divided. And I don’t have enough intent, which also plays into today’s podcast topic, intent and coherence. So I have to be very conscious about not taking on too many projects. That’s what I’m saying. And in the last 10 years, it’s been a lot of different projects. And that’s an easy world to get into and coaching alone. I mean, look at all the gizmos, we’ve got Maxis and Leo Mo’s and whoop straps and aura rings and all the different software, etc, etc, all the devices, all the breathing devices and weight training techniques. I mean, there’s a million wormholes to go down. So I got to rein it in, there’s a chance for me to recalibrate and refocus. Don’t worry, the podcast is not going away. I’m really enjoying the podcast. And it is one of the areas I want to increase my energy and put more into. I’ve got a really exciting list of guests planned for the future. And many of them require quite a bit of research and learning on my part in order to be prepared so I can have the best possible interview. So that’s all part of the process. All right, I’m gonna shut up about that now. Thank you for entertaining that point. If you’re interested in working with me on a fit appointment, please have patience and check out back on my website for an update on my new location. I’m going to manifest the perfect fit space has got a lot of natural light and use the mountains and some water nearby and good energy and I’ll be able to do the best work possible. Because that’s how I roll. At least that’s the goal. that rhymed, unintentional, onward. today’s podcast is about climbing mountains and making orbits. I almost titled it harsh truths and uncomfortable realities, or something like that. But what I want to talk about is simply the idea that humans, athletes specifically think about their athletic goals, their athletic path, in a certain way. And I’m going to make the case that I think the analogy they’re using in their head, the model they’re using is not optimal. I won’t say incorrect or wrong. At this moment, I might say in a few minutes. So what am I getting at? When we decide to become an athlete we decide to take on this goal. Become a bike racer become a whatever triathlete, runner, weightlifter, we visualize this path. And I’m thinking for you in this respect, or what I’m doing is really speaking about the way that I think you probably think about things. And that may not be the case for you, I try really hard not to imagine too much about what goes on in other people’s heads. Because any time I imagine what goes on in other people’s heads, really what I’m doing is explaining what goes on in my head because I have no way to know what goes on into someone else’s head. And we’ve all played the game of telephone. And language gets in the way of those ideas. Sometimes, because we lack the words to clearly express those ideas, sometimes it’s because we lack the verbal skill to put the ideas into words, etc. This is why art and music are created also is to help get those ideas out of our brains, part of the human expression is to create. So that said, I want to be clear that I don’t assume that this is your paradigm. But I’ve had enough discussions with enough athletes over time that I think that it is probably relatively accurate for how a lot of people conceive of their athletic journey. That’s what I’m getting at. I think I just contradicted myself, but we’re going to go forward anyway. So and I specifically had a conversation with one of my athletes about this recently. And I, we talked about this exact paradigm. And he agreed, he said, yeah, this is pretty much how I think of it. So that’s it. When we have a goal in mind, I think what most people kind of line up in their head is an endless mountain. And the goal is, somewhere ahead of you on that mountain on this slope, this 45 degree slope, you can imagine it as a trail, or maybe it’s a paved road. And you can imagine it metaphorically as hiking up that trail, or riding whatever, it doesn’t really matter. But the point is, you’re making progress on the mountain, you’re climbing the mountain. And we have this hierarchal rankings ranking system. And this, I think comes from like second grade. At least in my world, I used to have a higher a very hierarchical, hierarchical understanding of my peer group, and their boys and girls, and they got different rating systems, different rankings, but probably in that universe. It’s basically how funny and cool you are, and how cool you dressed and becomes a popularity skill. And we instantly think in those terms, well translate that moving forward into athletic world. And it’s the same idea, the better bike racers are farther ahead up the mountain from you, and the ones that are less good and amazing or closer to you. And then your immediate peer group is right around you. And then there are athletes who are below you on the mountain that you can turn around and look at metaphorically in your own mind. And the peer group right around you, the people who are climbing this mountain at a regular rate who are close to you, these are the riders that you compare yourselves to, and that we compare ourselves to, and we and we constantly measure our own progress against these athletes. And we have a model in our head where these athletes are occupying our immediate attention in such a way that we’re kind of racing them all the time. This is the extension of the mind, we’re not just racing them, when we put on a number and sign up to the start line of a criterium or a time trial, we’re racing them off the bike to because if we get less sleep, or we miss a day of training, or if we watch them on Strava, or on Instagram, and we see that they went to amazing location with beach town and giant mountains and they’re doing all these kilometers, then we have a perception that they are moving up the mountain at a faster rate at that moment that we are here in our lives, many one of the many problems with this paradigm, the competitive mindset. And when the competitive mindset expands to all moments of life. What does this what is the result of this competitive mindset? It produces anxiety. And this is not constructive? Because Let me remind you that we all signed up for this. And the journey is about enjoyment. Yes, there’s stress in the journey. Yes, there’s challenge and athletic journey. That’s why we signed up for it. So at times, it’s going to feel like that stress is a bit much otherwise it wouldn’t be pushing us. But if we didn’t want stress, if we didn’t sign up for stress, which is inherent in any athletic quest to become a better writer, then we would just hide under our fluffy blanket on a cold, snowy day and drink hot chocolate all the time. And there are people who live like that, and there’s no judgment on my part about it. Just understand that if that’s what you want to do, then stop whining about bike racing and go climb on your comforter and bury yourself and kittens or whatever. So, when we’re on this mountain, we have a perception that we must always climb, we must move forward and what is it It prevents forward motion, it is things like breaks or days off. If we take a day off, then we pause on the mountain, we’re not making progress. And then the risk is that our colleagues keep taking steps forward. So this comparative mentality leads to an error in judgment and a multiple potential avenues for errors of judgment, I’ll say, one of them is that days off, prevent forward motion. The second is that illness or injury will actually tumble you backwards down the mountain, and you’ll lose the ground that you made up, and then you have to go faster or hit the gas harder to climb the mountain to make it up to catch up to your colleagues. And I think you see where I’m going with this. This is this is a pervasive mentality in endurance athletics. So I’m not, I’m not saying that if you are injured or sick, you don’t lose fitness, to be clear. But what I’m saying is, the problem comes when you constantly have anxiety, or fear of being injured or sick, because that’s not constructive to the process, because it defeats one of the basic methodologies of or one of the basic philosophies of why you signed up for athletics in the first place. You didn’t sign up to be miserable and unhappy all the time and stressed out. Right? You signed up so that you could enjoy yourself and express your passion for the sport, so that you could be the fastest bike racer possible. So when we’re climbing this mountain, the challenge is that we’re looking behind us at athletes who we perceive as lower than we are in the hierarchy of bikers in universe. And we’re looking ahead at the riders who are maybe just in reach. And we’re trying so hard to get there. And in our model, those people are of course, gaining altitude on this endless mountain. Also, this mountain has no summit has no peak, it goes forever. And then just way up the mountain, perhaps barely in sight we’ve got it depends on where you are and how your mind works. But fundamentally, we’ve got Chris Froome, and Geraint Thomas and Marian Voss, you know, maybe they’re just out of sight, or maybe they’re so far ahead of us, we can’t conceive of them. But we know that they’re kind of like infinity. It’s a concept that we can define and think of conceptually, but we can’t really know it or experience it per se, unless you’ve orbited the Earth perhaps and looked at space. So the challenge with this model is that it leads to several lines of thought that aren’t really constructive or helpful in our athletic journey. And these lines are one. The idea that you can always add more to gain more altitude, the more is better mindset. When you’re thinking about progress, progress in sport, on this mountainside, it’s really easy to fall into the trap that if we add more, we will ascend more quickly. And in particular, in 2021, it’s really easy to look at numbers to quantify that and associate that mountain with progress. And to zoom in even even one more frame, it’s even easier to stare at your performance management chart. And consider TSS or training load as your progress on this mountain. If you’re really myopic, you’re ignoring tsp. Or if you’re even more myopic, again, zooming in, you’re looking at tsp, but you’re not considering that this chart only reflects cycling stress, not global load. And if you’re in the climber mindset, literally not in our mountain metaphor, but on the bike, you are actually trying to climb fast, then you’re focused on watts per kilo, and you’ve heard me say this before, but it bears repeating. It’s worth repeating. And you’re focused on watts per kilo. Yes, that is a meaningful metric. Yes, it is a predictor of race performance on climbs. But it is extremely limiting. It’s an extremely limiting way to think about cycling performance. And it’s also first grade thinking in something that requires PhD level application. Why? Well, let’s break it down. You can you’ve got watts per kilo, so you can either add more watts or take away kilos and either way that ratio makes you climb faster. First limiting factor that is a mathematical model and in the words of Coggan, paraphrased, all mathematical models have a limited application or all mathematical models are invalid. The question is what is their domain of validity? What do I mean by that this mathematical model is only limit is only valid in a domain where you are writing In a vacuum and aerodynamics play no role in the outcome of the race. Because it doesn’t consider aerodynamics at all. In real world cycling, all results are a combination of watts per kilo and watts per gram of drag. all races are all races are a function of that. Some races are heavily skewed towards watts per kilo, but not very many of them. In order to get close to error, to racing in a vacuum, we have to do a really steep climb with a tail wind or no wind. And that has to be the entire race, without consideration for aerodynamics at all. And there really are not very many races that meet that qualification. You might think, Oh, well, the Mount Washington home climb in the US does, because it’s got grades if I think I’ve never done this one, but I think it’s up to 20%. But also, they have record winds up there all the time. So sorry, aerodynamics play a role, when you’re riding around in 40 mile an hour winds, even if it’s a side wind, it influences your performance, you see what I’m getting at. So that’s problem one. And number two is kilograms, we have to be far more discerning than just weighing the weight of the mass of a rider. kilograms alone is a first grade way to look at the problem. Because you can step on a scale every single day for a two week period and get a wild swing in your weight. And that wild swing and weight is not nearly discerning enough to tell us what’s actually happening. As an endurance athlete, you are constantly squeezing out the sponge, and then refilling it with water and carbohydrates. And when you squeeze out the sponge, if you weigh yourself, and you’re really light, you’re 58 kilos, and then the next day that night for dinner, you have a bunch of carbs and water, which arguably are good things to do, because you want to refill your glycogen tank. Then you get on the scale the next day, and you weigh 62 kilos. And we associate the 62 is bad. And the 58 is good. But the reality is the 62 means you were your fuel tank is full. When you have glycogen and water in your muscles, your fuel tank is full. And there’s quite a bit of science coming out right now showing that the more glycogen we stuffed in your mouth during a hard race, the better you do. It’s just a question of how do we get your gut to handle these amounts of carbs. I might unpack some of these questions in an upcoming pod with Trevor, we’re gonna talk about gluten, it’s gonna be so when you remember it Don’t, don’t forget that in order to store glycogen in the liver and in the muscles for every molecule of glycogen, you need four molecules of water. So that’s a lot of water. And water weighs a lot, and your body is mostly made of water. So this causes a huge weight swing, even in a 24 hour period, you can have a massive weight swing, if you train really hard on a pretty warm day or wearing lots of clothing and you sweat a lot or you’re in an arid environment and you drain a lot of glycogen you come home, and the next morning you’re you haven’t refueled and you weigh yourself, you’re going to be really light, you’re going to be artificially light. And the challenge is not to think of that as air quotes. Good because your fuel tank is completely empty. That’s like showing up to the start of an automobile race, with no fuel in the tank and thinking yeah, my car’s gonna kick your ass up the hills. But you’re gonna run out of gas within a quarter of the race, it makes no sense whatsoever. We always want to start every race as fuel as possible. And training. This is. And yeah, we can have a more nuanced discussion down the road, I’ll find a good coach to talk about glycogen depleted training and up regulating fat metabolism and manipulation of macronutrients and substrates to have a training effect. And happy to discuss that down the road that on the shelf for a second. That all aside, don’t be confounded about this. The vast majority of your training, I’m just going to give you the cliff notes. Now the vast majority of training, your goal should be to be as fueled and hydrated as possible. Don’t be surfing the middle ground and thinking like oh, I’m going to lose a little more weight to burn a little more fat. If I only have half breakfast this morning. That’s cutting off your nose to spite your face. Which is a weird expression. I’ve been using that a lot lately. And I don’t know what the hell it means I have to look that up. Makes no sense to me. But I think the point the point is don’t shoot yourself in the foot. loading your own gun, like it doesn’t make sense to we want to have intent and coherence in our training. And so most of your training should be fueled and hydrated. I’ll just say it that way. We’ll discuss this down the road. So when you focus only on kilograms, you’re ignoring hydration and glycogen depletion, but you’re also ignoring a bigger issue which is more subtle, but more important, arguably which is muscle or body composition. How much muscle Do you have, how much lean body mass Do you have versus how much fat do you have? And when you are watching overall weight only. There’s no way to know. And as an easy thought experiment, and this has certainly happened in the history of time. Someone gained a kilo of muscle mass and lost half a kilo of fat mass and their net Gain was half a kilo. And they got bummed out because they thought they were gonna go slower. But if you gained muscle mass in your legs, and you lost overall fat mass, you are a faster bike racer, even though you weigh more. And this fact escapes people all the time when they’re so focused on watts per kilo. And I hate to say it, but Swift is making this problem worse by showing that metric all the time. It’s a, it’s a first grade way to think about the problem. So I’m challenging you to think much deeper. And the next question that I always get is, Does my tonita body fat scale work? And the answer is not really, it can tell you trends, kind of. But as far as the absolute number, not so much, why it’s a buy, it works out bioimpedance. So what it does is sends a really weak electrical signal up one of the pads that you stand on, so you stand on the scale with the metal pads, and you put your naked foot on there. And it sends a little electrical signal up one foot, and then it waits for the signal to come down the other foot. And I’m probably not quite explaining this in a super scientific way, because this is about as much as I know about it, but I’m just telling you, so there’s probably some scientists out there rolling your eyes. Sorry about that. But basically, the electricity finds the path of least resistance. And the algorithm works to calculate the density of body tissue. Based on how long it takes for this, the electrical impulse to go up to basically be put into one foot and then received on the other foot, it’s just resistance, how much resistance to that have what affects the resistance, one, the length of your legs to your body composition, how much fat versus how much muscle you have, and three, how hydrated you are. So therein lies the problem, we do have to control hydration to some degree. So if you’re really good about hydrating the night before the night before you use your scale, and then you get up in the morning, and you use it or you hydrate first. Let’s say you drink a given amount of water and then you stand on the scale, say 20 minutes later, that might be a way to control it. But it’s still not going to give you an accurate absolute number of body fat percentage. So if it says 11%, you might be a percent and you might be 14. And these are just numbers I’m throwing out I don’t know the exact plus or minus i don’t know the accuracy. But I think if you hydrate consistently with a with a given protocol, every time you weigh, you’ll probably be able to track some changes. So if you go from 8.2 to 8.9, we can probably say that you gained a little body fat and vice versa. How much we’re not sure, but we can probably say with some accuracy that you gained it, especially if you get a consistent trend. If you’re looking for trends over time, and you’re hydrating consistently. That’s the information we can get from that. Are you gaining or losing fat, so potentially useful in that respect, but no, it doesn’t really tell you your overall fat. So the ways to get your body fat check, you can do a really good body caliper measurement. There are different protocols you can use for that you’ve got to have a skilled technician and a good pair of calipers. Don’t use the super crappy plastic ones, get the good ones. I have some of these in my office and I’ve done it with athletes, we used to do it. The other way to do it is go get a dexa scan. There’s conflicting evidence about how I created a dexa scan is and I don’t know to be honest, the science on all that just to break it down. But if you want to know what’s happening with your body, this is the way to look at it. You can also be I’ll say, possibly you can have some good insight by just looking at yourself objectively in a mirror. This is really hard for humans to do, I’m going to tell you, there’s this thing called confirmation bias. It’s one of the ways in which we walk through the world with a warped lens. And when you look in the mirror, if you’re thinking man, I feel really slow and I haven’t trained enough right now and I haven’t been lifting enough. And I really suffer on that ride last Sunday with the guys and man I normally that guy’s below me on my ever ever ending mountain but this weekend, he I was really struggling on his wheel. And then you take your shirt off, and you take off everything else. In your birthday suit stand in front of the mirror and you look objectively, it can be easy for you to conclude. Yep. I’m a blubbery sack of lard. And I’m not going very fast right now. This is confirmation bias. On the other hand, if you’re like man, you do your power pose you’re meditating you read them, right got your yoga on, you jump in your cold shower, you come out and look in the mirror and you go I’m a ripped piece of machinery. I’m going to go smash them watch right now. So it is possible to objectively look yourself in the mirror but you’ve got to recognize your own confirmation bias and be honest about it. And pinch yourself in a few places. Where do you gain weight? triceps and hips are really common. So check these areas out and you can get a pretty honest feel for how your diet is impacting you are you putting on weight even though you are air quotes eating well, that’s a sign that your diet maybe isn’t quite off. Are you losing weight and your energy is good and you’re sleeping well and you’re hydrating properly and you’re on the right track. Keep going So this is where one area where we can really rabbit hole on our endless mountain. Because we can focus so much on metrics like training stress score, or watts per kilo that we lose sight of the bigger picture. But I’m here to tell you that this endless mountain is the wrong paradigm, it’s not an accurate way to think about cycling. It’s not an accurate way to think about any athletic journey, it’s not helpful. And it’s also not accurate. Why? Primarily, because you’re ignoring one of the most basic rules of all nature. As an alternative model, or way to think about your athletic journey, this is what I propose. Instead of thinking of your progress in cycling as linear as an endless mountain, you’re always climbing always racing against other athletes up. And dust can fall down whenever things don’t go wrong, whenever things go awry. Think of cycling and athletic journey as cyclic or orbital. The reason the mountain top analogy doesn’t work is because it ignores one of the most fundamental laws of nature of biology. And that is that human beings and all life cycles, everything that’s alive. Everything that has a soul follows a cyclical pattern. And these cycles are actually fractal in nature, meaning when you look at the biggest one from the biggest lens, and then you zoom in, you see the same pattern repeated on a smaller level. And then you zoom into that pattern, and you see it repeated on a smaller level. If you want to learn more about this, you can search Mendel broad patterns on the search engines. And you’ll see what I mean and abroad super cool. Or you can search fractal fractal patterns. And you’ll see some visuals that explain this concept. And this pattern repeats in nature, ad infinitum. Everywhere you look, when you look, you see it. And when you understand this is the nature of how all the universe in all reality are structured, then you see that by thinking in this linear path, this and this upward, trending and never ending mountain, we’re not really respecting that natural cycle. So think about the annual cycle, winter, spring, summer fall, and apply or overlay this cycle on top of our orbital path. And now we’ve got our goal on one end of this orbit, our dream goal or objective, whatever that is, the Olympic Games World Championships, national championships state championships, your local time trial, the steamboat gravel, race, unbound gravel, whatever, mountain bike marathon nationals, Ironman Triathlon, your goal is this singular point on this orbit. And when we respect the cyclical nature of orbiting this celestial object to achieve our goal, we see that the analogy allows us to understand how we relate to that object, or how we relate to that point on the orbital say. So let’s say you’re on that orbit at a given point, and it is somewhere in fall or winter, metaphorically. And now you decide what your summer goal is going to be, you decide the point on that orbit that you are working towards. So you place it on your orbit, in August, we’ll say. Now, that point is there and you know it, you know it in the back of your mind, and you know that you are on a trajectory towards that point. And this is a powerful in and of itself, just the knowledge of that future event, helps get you out of bed in the morning to get on the bike during days that are gray and cold. It helps get you to the gym to do that strength training routine that you’ve got. And sometimes maybe it takes a little bit of motivation to kindle the energy to get things going to move in that direction. And without that point, we can sometimes feel lost because we can’t see the trajectory we’re on. But as soon as we have put that point on our trajectory on our orbit, it gives us coherence, it gives us intent. And as soon as we have coherence, all training becomes aligned. All movement becomes goal oriented. And momentum begins. This is electrical potential. This is energy coming into motion. And this is powerful. This is what makes the difference between someone who’s got an athletic goal and someone who’s just training with no real end in sight. It’s the difference between someone who meditates with COVID As someone who just meditates randomly, who has random disparate energy that goes in any given direction, or as Paul says all the time, my teacher, Paul, check, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. So as soon as you select the event and put it in the future, you have begun an orbiter, an orbital trajectory. But what’s beautiful about this is, the cycle begins and forces that are bigger than you begin to accelerate your trajectory around that planet. This is why the analogy works so well, because when you’re orbiting a celestial object, a planet or a sun, or a moon, or whatever, doesn’t really matter what’s in the middle, for the purposes of the analogy, it’s just a celestial object can be a pile of kittens in the universe, don’t worry, they have oxygen and stuff. When we’re orbiting our celestial object, we are pulled by its gravity. And we are accelerated by its gravity, and we’re held in a certain orbital distance from the center of that object. And the relationship of our velocity and distance from the center of that object and the arc of our curve around it are all dictated by forces over which we have no control. And that is a big part of understanding what happens when we are in a cyclical trajectory. We have very little control over our velocity, we have very little control of our altitude, and even the path within that orbit, maybe we can change it a few degrees here and there with great effort. But we don’t have a lot of control over the basic shape of the trajectory, it’s always going to be whatever you want to call it an oval or a circle or whatever, we could get technical on the astronomical phenomenon. But that’s not the point. We don’t have control of that shape, you may you it’s just like Master oogway says, a peach tree will always give you a peach, you may want an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach. This is the essence of this discussion is releasing that control. And this is the part where I think so many athletes are delusional, to be direct, to be confrontational, delusional about how much control they have. And this is also why athletics can cost so many athletes so much suffering. Because if you go into any complex paradigm, not understanding the forces at play, or being delusional about how much control you have over something, well, you’re just signing up to suffer. And I don’t mean suffering in a good way, like climbing a mountain. I mean, suffer like emotional turmoil, like pain and suffering, like the sport will not serve you and you will be torturing yourself. But this is really a belief system. This is just you making up stories about the way shit works, and not having a true understanding of what you can control and what you ought to let go of if you want to have a better time doing it. So we’re traveling on our orbit, it’s fall or winter. So we’ve got three quarters of a year until we’re going to reach our dream goal or objective, which is on the far side of the orbit, it’s about three quarters of the way around. So we’ve traveled one quarter from that goal. And so what we’re going to do is know that that goal is on the horizon. And that’s going to help us start to slowly accumulate momentum and speed and velocity towards that point. And by that analogously, what I mean is we’re going to slowly begin to put pieces in play as far as focus and intent. So we’re going to think ahead about equipment choices. We’re going to think ahead about our training plan, we’re going to hire a coach, we’re going to think about diet, we’re going to start to accumulate momentum in the area of motivation. And we’re also going to start to to accumulate harmony. And this is a really important concept. Harmony is when you want the things that are good for you. A lot of people get confused on this concept. And they see cycling they see athletics as this giant sacrifice you’re giving up so many things. You’re giving up three beers a night, you’re giving up staying up to four in the morning at bars, you’re giving up eating jack in the box, or I don’t even know if jack and box still exists Taco Bell. You’re giving up eating whatever you want. In air quotes. trade for good food, right? Because you’re putting in effort. And people some people see these as sacrifices. You’re giving up playing video games so that you can go out and ride your bike for four hours. Harmony is a place where when you when you want the things that are good for you, then you choose the things Things that are good for you. And there’s alignment in those choices. There’s no sacrifice, there’s no struggle. There’s not, oh, I really want to do this, but I’m going to prevent myself from doing this. Or I’m going to not do it or I’m not going to allow myself that pleasure. Because I’m training for this event. disharmony is when you want the things that are bad for you. And if this is the world you live in, then you’ve got some soul searching to do. You got some growing up to do to be honest, this is second grade thinking, I want to eat four bags of cookies. Because sugar is yummy, and it brings me back to my childhood. I want to eat a pint of ice cream, because consuming Cadbury takes me back to a place of warmth and comfort, which is mother’s breast. So when you’re addicted to these types of foods, it’s a progression to a childhood mentality. And when you look honestly at yourself, you can see that, at times allowing these addictions to manifest and feeding them can be a regression backwards into our past into place. It’s not constructive. When you understand the links between the connection between the addiction to dairy and regression to a place of safety and comfort and warmth. Well, why is it that we repeatedly want to return to that world? What is it that we’re hiding from? What is it that we’re not comfortable with in our lives? Or do we just miss mom. And I’m not saying any of these things are good or bad. To be clear, I know I’m coming across probably as pretty judgy and pretty harsh in this pod. But that’s really not my intent. I’m here to help you see your own behaviors. rototill your own belief systems understand why you make the choices you make and understand the relationship between harmony and disharmony in your athletic career. That’s all I’m trying to help you see. And I also want to make it clear that I’m really not trying to come from a holier than thou place as though I know all this shit and I’ve mastered at all. Because I humbly bow to the fact that I struggle with these types of issues have for many, many years. And yes, I’ve made progress. And yes, I have a level of understanding. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still encounter these exact discussions in my own head on a daily basis. So I want to be crystal clear about that. I approach this from the most humble. And at the same time gracious perspective. I don’t take it lightly to have that I have the opportunity to potentially teach some people things about this. But I also want to be clear that I’m no Master, I’m no enlightened Buddha. You already knew that. But I had to say it anyway. Because if I don’t say it, and people think that I think I’m something that I’m not, it gives them the wrong impression about my teachings. I’m just here trying to help people out. That’s it. So having an understanding about harmony, and how it plays a role in your athletic goals is very important. And harmony should be a concept that we embrace, and strive for in our lives. And that simply means choosing wanting to choose the things that are good for us. And I don’t just mean good for us in our athletic goals. I mean good for us, as humans first. And good for you as a human first and good for your athletic goals should more or less be one in the same money, a few my new show and I’ll say, deviations from that path. You know, if we’re talking about trying to get 90 grams of carbs in your mouth an hour for a race, that’s not something you would do, per se, that’s good for you on any given regular activity, but also bike racing is exceptional circumstances. And we understand that we’re running the engine at a very high RPM for a long number of a long duration. And that requires exceptional amount of fuel, you got to put jet fuel in the engine if you’re going to run around like a jet. And if you don’t put jet fuel on the engine and run around like a jet, and you’re depleted, and then your health starts to erode. So we’re traveling around our, our trajectory and we have a rhythm we have a sense of seasonality to our annual cycle. And just as I was saying this is a Mandelbrot This is a fractal, meaning there are cycles within a cycle there are monthly cycles and weekly cycles and daily cycles and hourly cycles. But the big one to keep an eye on is the annual cycle or even the multi annual cycle. And as we’re on this trajectory, we are being driven by the gravitational force of this celestial body and all the other celestial bodies. That are also in the universe just to a lesser degree. So you may call that gravitational influence zero, but it’s not. It’s more than zero, it might be a lot less than one. But it is not nothing. And I would call the center of our celestial object for the purposes of this discussion, the craft of cycling, the craft of athletics, that’s what we’re rotating around. The individual point on our trajectory is our race, our goal, our dream objective. So once we have that primary objective, and we have that intent, then we’re going to lay out other points on that trajectory that are closer to us. And maybe there are a few after our big objective as well. And these are points to look forward to, to help us gain momentum, to help us drive towards our end trajectory. And they, again, help us reinforce our alignment and our cohesion. They help us focus. Because when we have a race in August, that’s super important. Our July race becomes a lead in or a sense of testing for our August race. And hence our June does as well, and hence our may does and then our April training race does as well. And all these events are additive. And they build our intent and our momentum. And they’re important milestones along the way. And they also play a role, they all play an important role in the the entirety of the trajectory of the entirety of the orbit, because the near term goals help build towards the long term goals. And as stepping stones, they are performance markers. Another way to think about this is training is testing and testing is training. What do I mean by that? Well, I won’t say this happens in all the points of the trajectory fall, not so much winter, we begin to dabble. But late winter and spring training is testing and testing is training means that you’re training with enough regularity and enough maximal efforts to where we don’t need a ton of specific focused, or official test days. Where we go out and put you through some artificial test period where you go super, super hard. And we look at the duration. And that defines your power curve, your FTP or training zones and all those things. Because we’re training hard enough to where we’re extracting that data from the training in and of itself, just through the act of doing intervals or doing hard efforts. And I don’t even mean in terms of setting zones and knowing boundaries and looking at numbers and defining all these points. These are important. And yeah, for using a power meter, we got to use it right. What I mean is, you shouldn’t go to your first race in May, and have no idea what it means to go really hard for 30 minutes straight. Internally, in your own internal tachometer your own how hard Am I going oh meter? That answer that question should be answered. Well answered. By that point, you should have gone hard at race pace for 30 minutes. And I don’t just mean steady. Perhaps we also mean, you know, over under 30 cents on a course that’s rolling or in a course that is if you’re a mountain biker, then we want to have 30 minutes of hard effort over undulating terrain on with corners and roots and rocks and drops and single track and all the things that we have to negotiate during a mountain bike race at speed. So then you’re familiar with those efforts. And it’s not a shock. It’s not a big question, Mark, you’re not going into your first race wondering, well, how good am I exactly? What’s it going to feel like? How is my body going to break down after 22 minutes, I’m going to fall to pieces? That question has been answered. So these are all stepping stones on our trajectory and on our path. And so we accumulate orbit, we accumulate orbital velocity. And we’ll say, as we move with intent towards our goal, our speed metaphorically in this orbit picks up and we accrue more intent. And the path is a little less wavy, it’s more directed. And in the spring, things are becoming more defined. The goal is coming closer, the weather is warming up. There’s an energy in spring that is creative, that is additive that is blossoming. That is multiplying. And this energy means that you’re training can have a very different characteristic at this point in the in the orbit. This is really important. I think a lot of athletes miss this and perhaps some coaches as well. Everyone who’s raised for a number of years understands this concept. From the conversations I’ve had, there’s a point in your training, usually in the spring where you can seemingly just add whatever you want almost and you can handle it. And writers describe this very generally as Yeah, I felt good. I feel good tired. Yeah, I’m really smashed. But I feel like I’m okay. I’m not in the hole, I’m not in the box. And that means you can almost add load all the time. And still the body somehow responds. And this is the energy of spring, your body can absorb this energy and still continue to get stronger. I’m not saying you can hammer yourself indefinitely, they’re still training low, there’s all basic concepts you have to follow, you still need recovery days, but there’s a different energy in the body, you can handle load in a more more robust way without being as depleting. And then right around summer solstice, third week in June, things shift. And depending on how your spring is gone, and how quickly your orbit is happening at that moment, how much velocity you have, and how hard the arc is, we’ll say analogously. It depends a little bit on where you’re at. But basically, around the third week in June, we have to be a little more careful a little more discerning about adding load all the time, I would argue that most riders need to kind of maintain the load they’ve had for the spring at most, if not reduce, but fitness will still coast and velocity, the orbit of the velocity of your orbit will maintain, will keep going. So we might think about it in terms of the harder you push in training, the faster you go, and the towards your goal. And the slower the less training load you apply, the more we coast a little bit and maybe your your velocity, because you’re in space, in theory, in our analogy, your velocity will stay the same or less. But if we really back it off, then you’ll start to slow down a little. And this is the manipulation of training load relative to how far away you are from your dream goal or objective. So if you come in too hot, if your races in August, and you are full gas in February, March and April, and you’re not repeating your system enough with enough sleep and enough good nutrition, you might completely run out of steam and be on fumes by the time you get to August. So there’s a manipulation of our rhythm to achieve the goal at the right moment. And the end goal in our analogy, is to hit our dream goal or objective event. Our love our passion, our our big bang event with the right velocity fully fueled, but with minimal fatigue. And this is cohesive with the performance management model. You want to hit with a positive or around zero TSB depending on who you are, and what your goal is and what your event is, and your cycling age, etc, your athletic age. But we also want to hit it with a highest chronic training load or CTL, you can. And that’s the same. Those are the same concepts in this orbital model. But instead of on the side of a mountain, we are recognizing the cyclical nature of this entire process. So then you come to your goal. And you’ve done all your midpoint milestones, and you let off the gas. This is the taper and you’re just doing enough to keep momentum going, you’re just touching all the energy systems, you’re doing your final, the final bits of the recipe. And you’re letting things sit a little bit and crystallize. Or to mix analogies for a moment when you cook something, any good recipe, you take it off the burner off the grill or out of the oven and you’ve let it sit before you eat it. You let the steak sit for a couple minutes to let the juice come back in. You let rice sit in the pan with the lid closed. So you can fluff it up with a fork. And you let it sit, you take a cake out of the oven, you don’t eat it and put it in your mouth immediately let it sit. This is what we’re doing in the last week or two during your taper before your peak event. You’re letting things crystallize. You’re letting things manifest into their ideal form, give it a little bit of time, add just a shake of salt and let it be touched the energy systems rest, attend to final details and prepare. And this is the perfect moment to look back on the previous 789 10 1112 months of true trajectory that you have been building towards this event and recognize at that moment, how little control you actually had over most of the events that led you to where you are. What did you do, I chose the event, which then immediately aligned the orbit. You put momentum forward on this path and you put in the effort to train every day or not train every day as it were rest. You either pushing ahead with Marvel laxity or pulling off the gas and letting things coast. Hopefully, you saw the path of your orbit and you were realistic about it. And all too often what athletes do is they get halfway through their orbit, and they start seeing the trajectory of where they’re going, and they start calculating where they’re going to end up. And if they’re insecure about their fitness, if they’re insecure about their abilities, or they’re fearful that the outcome might not be what they want, they can have a tendency to try to push too hard, too fast, and disrupt their orbit or jump to another orbit, they see another athlete ahead of them. So when we see multiple athletes in multiple orbits, what we’re seeing is orbits above and below us, it’s still hierarchical. But the orbits are for the athletes that are faster than us are bigger in diameter. They’re traveling on the same cycle we are, they still have December, and they still have July in their cycle, but they’re going faster than we are. So therefore they have more altitude. This is how the analogy works. And so when you see athletes in an orbit that’s above you, they’re accomplishing more, they’re training at a faster rate they’re training. They’re consuming more food and producing more kilojoules. And they’re recovering in time with this higher workload. And sometimes we see that and it becomes a moment where we mistakenly think that we should be on a different orbit than we are. But I’m here to tell you that everything is perfect as it is you are on the correct orbit, what you can do is influence your own velocity within that orbital ring. But if you try to push too hard and jump to another ring of orbit and other altitude of orbit, you’re just gonna crash and burn, you’re going to disrupt the laws of physics and your satellite will come back to Earth. When you crash and burn, things get ugly. This is chronic fatigue syndrome. This is massive injury overuse injury, this is total systemic shutdown of hormones, this is complete. Destruction of all helpful constituents of blood that help transport out to this is any number of other massive health crises that can happen. Sometimes it’s the result of sometimes it ends in a massive crash. When you push too hard, in a competitive moment or training moment, you make a decision where you try to force something, and you end up on the ground. And you look back and think, Okay, that was not a good call, I tried to force it. It’s one thing to take competitive risk, it’s another to try to force something out of desperation. And I have been there a few times in my career. And two in particular, I can think of right directly ended up on the ground with a pretty nasty consequence. One of them almost cost me the Olympic Games. So I’ve definitely battled this, this demon. There are moments when you have to recognize I’m not gonna build a force this, I just have to accept the trajectory I’m on. And it is what it is. And the more realistic we are about that trajectory, the better understanding we have and the more trajectories we take each annual cycle, the more experience we get, and the more we know what it’s like to go rocketing around this celestial object that is cycling. And then the bigger orbit, you can take the next year, every time you want to go into the next cycle, you can expand your orbit a little bit, and your orbit will grow. And you become a better athlete, and you encompass more knowledge and more speed and more grace and expand your spiritual influence on the universal say. I don’t know if that quite works the analogy but so this is the essence of our rhythmic journey. And just before you get to your peak event, you may have a moment of gratitude to look back on the previous six or eight months worth of work and cohesive alignment you’ve had towards your goal. And one thing I think that’s really important for people to remember is that sport is a luxury. Competition is what people do when their lives are not burdened with illness, war, poverty, disease, abuse, addiction. Maybe your life does have some of these energies in it, probably all of ours do to some extent. But when you aren’t burdened by these things in a really big way, and you choose to be an athlete, this is a luxury and therefore In my opinion, it’s something that we should have gratitude for Every day we get to practice every day getting on your bike, you should be beaming with gratitude at the fact that you get to go ride a bike. Because that’s a cool experience. And if you love it, and it’s truly your passion, then don’t treat that trivially. Not everyone has this opportunity. And then you’re going to pass through your event on this cosmic journey, you’re going to take the trajectory and pass through your dream goal objective, and the outcome will be whatever it is. But having gratitude for the previous eight months worth of work, helps us be at peace with whatever outcome is there. Because ultimately, sport is about process. For most of us, the exception is if you are being paid to ride your bike, and literally making your family’s future, supporting your entire family with your paycheck, then the outcome of the event has a lot more weight to it. But I want to be really clear about that for anyone who’s outside of that paradigm, which is the vast majority of all cyclists in the sport. When you’re really stressed out about the outcome, you’re you’re giving, I don’t want to say results don’t matter. That’s not what I’m getting at. Because they are ultimately the expression of our work. And they are the concrete representation of what we have put into the sport. But when you are fixated on a result, as an amateur athlete, I would argue that you’re setting yourself up for a lot of suffering. Because we don’t have that much control over the place we get in the end. And I remind my athletes of this all the time, just in case, you’re not on the same page, there’s a very simple thought experiment you can provide you can do, which will help illustrate that. And that is, let’s say you spend your entire orbital trajectory making the perfect preparations you’ve had the best season you’ve ever had. You move forward with intent, you had clear focus, you lived in harmony, you ate the right things, you slept the right sleep, you train the right training, you hired the right coach, the equipment went well you show up to the race, you reach your dream, goal objective, Dream goal and objective and you execute the best possible race you have on the day. And in your head, you had it set that you were going to be top three, and you finish 12th. And you initially are disappointed, but you go home and you do a post mortem. And you look at the analysis of the numbers and you figure out the competition. And you will think about how it played out and make all the analyses and you realize that you actually had one of the best performances you’ve had in your entire writing career. Now one or two things happen either one, you overestimated your own abilities, or two, you underestimated your competitors. And if you underestimated your competitors, well, that’s something you have no control over. The fact is you can do the best you can do you can you can execute your own orbit, to the best of your ability, every single season and still get beaten. And that placing ultimately is out of your control. Because there are other people who just have bigger, faster orbits than you and there’s nothing you can do about it. And that’s only one of several aspects of this entire journey that we don’t really have control over. So if you want the secret to enjoying this journey, even though we have less control than we like to think the secret is not a secret, I’m going to pretend like it is anyway. It is simply to let go. It is to release the idea that you can control this outcome. It is to surrender to the path of the orbit. It is to surrender to the velocity. And let the planetary forces at work, pull you into this result in this outcome and fully recognize and take adult ownership for what you can control. And the rest of it just witness and just witness in awe because if you’re paying attention, the universe is constantly blowing your mind. And this entire sick journey through one season is a perfect example of that. When athletes fight their trajectory they’re on or when they see someone in a bigger orbit a faster orbit and they try so hard to get there. They’re fighting against natural law of the universe. And that never works. I mean humans the hubris of humans sometimes is incredible. It’s it actually blows me away. But the fact that we think we can make an impossible burger that’s healthier than actual organic farm raised, hormone free grass fed beef is just amazing the fact that we thought we could make olestra and it wouldn’t screw people up, or margarine, or you name it any really artificially constructed fake food as just one small example. Case Study for how we think we’re smarter than nature. Not we are in nature, we just get wrapped up in our own head sometimes. Alright, enough rambling. I hope that that little philosophical orbital journey was not too much into the weeds in the weirdness. Do you have thoughts on this? Did you get bored and hang up? Did you like what I had to say? Did it offer you insights? Hit me back. info at cycling in alignment calm. Now you’ll be spiritual. And may Your fractals be fascinating. Thanks for listening. Hey, there, space monkeys. Just a few more notes. On this thought if you made it this far, you’re a champion, because it’s been a journey. This is an outro a postscript, an epilogue, which is the opposite of a prologue. prologue is that little time trial at the beginning of really long stage races. The epilogue is while the chumps really say, the exclamation point at the end of the three week race. And I just wanted to tie up a few things, make a few points, hopefully weld them together. After editing my own solo episode, which is a bit like staring at yourself in the mirror for five hours straight and counting every eyelash, you get to see where you made good points and where I had some flow and some other places where my language and my word choice was a bit clunky, kind of like dragging out a bag full of pots and pans along on the concrete as I walked my dog around the block, not the most peaceful activity for the neighborhood, and also not the most pleasant thing to endure. At any rate, I’m doing the best I can to get the ideas in my head out of my mouth in a cohesive manner, doesn’t always crystallize in the perfect form. life goals, ongoing quest. So here’s what I wanted to get at. After you achieve this orbital velocity, and you pass through your dream goal or objective for the season your your hypothetical August race, as we used in our example, this is a time when the rhythm changes. This is a time when the work of the entire previous six months, eight months, four months, however long it’s been, has now reached its mid year its climax, and you are past that point. And this is a time to relax. This is a time to let go and release to regenerate. This is a time to let go of effort. And in particular, in comparison to our timeline, or our model of the endless mountain, where every time we stop climbing, we are by definition, losing fitness or losing ground relative to our competitors, our colleagues, our friends, our foes, however you want to look at it. In contrast, the orbital model is one in which we are respecting the rhythm of this annual cycle. And during this rhythm, we are taking time to reflect upon the journey we’ve had over the previous four, six or eight months or 12 months to get to this dream core objective. And this is a time for analysis. It’s also a time to just absorb and feel the process. You’ve just completed a chapter in a lifelong book of athletics. Each year, you could say as a chapter and this is not trivial. It’s a time to look back on what you’ve accomplished and appreciate the work you put into it, regardless of what the outcome was. And it’s also a chance to reflect and decide if you want to set another trajectory in place for the following season. Do you want to continue to write another athletic chapter? Do you want to continue to write the same book or maybe you want to change directions? Maybe that means changing sports. Maybe it means not being an athlete for a year and having that focused trajectory, you know being on an athlete on a focus trajectory. have focused orbit has so many blessings, it makes things so simple everyday get out of the out of bed and you’ve got this specific purpose, almost everything in your life can be oriented towards that purpose. And for eight months, that gives us a really simple way to live our lives. The trade off for all that myopic focus is, of course, that it by definition, prevents us from putting our energy and other things, whatever those things are, whether that’s family, or relationship, or education, or our normal job, or walking our dogs or building a deck, all those things that people do when they’re not off riding their bike, multiple hours every day and every weekend. So this is a chance to reflect on that journey. And it’s also assuming you do decide to write another chapter and go for it again and line up another trajectory towards a goal. You are at the farthest point from next, the next season’s goal. So this is not a moment when you are falling back down the hill, or losing fitness. It’s not even a moment where you’re pausing and losing ground. Because we’re not on an endless mountain, we are in an orbit, and you are at the furthest point from next year’s goal, meaning you have to go almost all the way around 360 degrees, nearly around 352 degrees around depending on what day you’re having this reflective moment to get to next year’s race. And this has metaphor, so I’m assuming all the races, all the goals are always in August, you get my point. So that is the point to wit at which we should be at the lowest end of our race fitness. When you finish that break that post dream goal or objective peak season goal. And you take a break for two or three or four weeks is typical. And that can be semi active or kind of active or not active at all depending on how blown you are and some other variables that I won’t get into. That should be a point when you are letting go of this obsessive compulsive need to always gain and theoretically make progress forward and forward in fitness. But really what happens is you flatlined when you push and you train hard 352 days a year, you don’t make these seasonal gains. Because again, to go back to the basic principle, you’re ignoring or choosing you’re they’re ignoring or ignorant over both the most basic principle that governs all living creatures, or really anything with an outside and an inside, which then then therefore has a soul according to Rudolf Steiner. Meditate on that for a minute. Because they’ll tell you rocks have an inside and an outside. Anything that has an inside and an outside therefore has a soul and is also subject to laws of seasonality and rhythm. This is how energy works. And everything is energy. So there’s another meditation. Sorry, feeling kind of philosophical today. You thought you were gonna get FTP, and cleat position. So that is the important point to keep in mind. It’s a it’s a moment to step away from self criticism, it’s a moment to step away from effort and step into reflection and analysis. analysis is fine. Look at how your training is. played out. How effective was the type of training you did? Did you actually make some gains? Now we have so many ways to quantify our gains, we can see a lot of that we can’t see all of that. A power meter won’t tell you. If your anterior hip rotation got better or worse after 400 hours of riding doesn’t tell you that you just see that drop in power when you start to posteriorly rotate and dump into the pelvis and lose your diaphragmatic breathing and lose your axial extension. So anyway, consider the metrics we have to track what’s changed and what hasn’t. Consider digging into the analysis and then that enables you to make an educated decision to set up the next orbit. Also consider that your orbit is your unique trajectory. It is your unique paths that you are taking towards your event. And while you can see other people on their orbit and their orbit may be below yours, so to speak, metaphorically in terms of altitude or above yours, meaning they are doing more kilo kilometers and more kgs and smashing more watts and achieving more victories and getting paid more to ride their bikes or whatever. When we look upon someone else’s orbit with envy, this is not really the way to view things. I don’t think it’s the proper lens, you’re asking the wrong question. The question isn’t, should I be there? Or can I be there when I’m here? The question is not a question at all. It is simply a moment of presence where you observe the other person with Aw, achieving what they are achieving. And I’ll add to that, you can have just as much all looking at someone in orbit below yours as you can about it. And think about why that might be for a moment. You’re smart person, I’m sure you can come up with some good reasons for that. Probably reasons that I haven’t come up with. That’s all I want to say. Thank you for listening to my somewhat rambling mind movies at times. I appreciate your presence and your attention to my philosophies, and I hope they’re doing you some good. If you have thoughts or questions, you know where to find me and also, keep an eye on my website. If you’re so inclined, and you’re curious about fit appointments, I forgot to mention the actual website address, which is simply Colby Pierce, calm. Right, and Greg, gratitude, attention space monkeys public service announcement. Really, technically, it’s a disclaimer, you already know this, but I’m going to remind you that I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not a doctor. So don’t take anything on this podcast to constitute lawyerly or doctor lien advice. I don’t play either of those characters on the internet. Also, we talk about lots of things. And that means we have opinions. My guess is opinions are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of anyone who is employed by or works at fast talk labs. Also, if you want to reach out and talk to me about things, feedback on the podcast, good, bad or otherwise, may do so. At the following email address info at cycling in alignment.com. That’s all spelled just like it sounds. Again, self evident gratitude