Life Lessons from the Rail Trail

Everything clicks along, like gliding through air. Muscles fire like pistons, breath is smooth and energizing. I’m passing vibrant green pastures filled with lambs and sheep of all sizes, and the birthing season has just passed; the little babies are only 3 weeks old. They are everywhere. Cutest little lambs!

At another moment, I can’t catch my breath. My legs just won’t go. I’m aching, my left arm is numb, my butt hurts, and there are sheep everywhere. Darn sheep! 

Happy/Sad. Excited/Demoralized. Fit/Geriatric. 

Conclusion: There are 4 factors that impact the quality of my ride. Let me explain, and then you’ll see how this applies to coaching, and to you! 

  • Terrain. Is it soft or packed? Rock, pebbles, or puddles? A bumpy bridge or a smooth one (depends how the plans are laid, long ways or short)? 
  • Elevation Grade. Obviously going up blows, going down is just silly. 
  • Wind. Woah. The first day I made more progress walking the bike than riding it. Head winds are not fun, tailwinds are glorious. 
  • Prana/Energy. What did I eat and when? Am I hydrated? How much prep did I really do before this challenge? A day, a month? All year? Am I agile and proactive or reactive? 

So. What’s going on for you? Think about your challenges or your desires. How’s your terrain of support?

Is your foundation in place, or do you have to pull from your resources to create a starting point that feels more sustainable?

What else do you need to get in place? Are you going uphill toward your target? That’s fine, as long as the end is in sight and your path is clearly lit, with times to stop, catch a breathe, and enjoy the journey. As you read this, you may realize you’ve met your goal, and you’re coasting downhill with ease. As they say in NZ, good on you. How do you handle the unexpected, both good and bad? They don’t call them the “winds of change” for no reason. Knowing yourself deeply, practicing mindfulness, and logging your gratitudes will keep you steady no matter what comes your way. Most importantly, your energy or life force. The techniques and methodologies to feeling your best are endless. You know yourself best. Why aren’t you practicing?

Embrace your rituals, and put them above all else.

Be selfish and self-nourishing. Make time. Own it! 

From the Rail Trail (Central Otego, New Zealand)


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