The post below was written in 2007, my last year racing as a professional triathlete. Identifying what IS and IS NOT in your control is powerful. This pertains to sport and life…
Well, the picture above represents the only outside riding I have done since early January (except for the daily commutes to campus). I really don’t mind riding on the trainer during the early season. I don’t have to deal with cars, cold, snow, or bonking, but I do have to deal with a sore butt.
The indoor trainer rides have given me a chance to tweak my position. Each ride, I am able to move the handlebars a bit lower or higher, the seat backward or forward, up or down. I have tried to gradually fall into a more aerodynamic position by slowly lowering my front end bit by bit. Since I have a PowerTap, I can also see how the lower position affects my power output.
Often times after a tweak, I feel different, uncomfortable, until I adjust. Sometimes I have to go back to a previous position because the tweak wasn’t beneficial. Hopefully, by the end of March, I will have position that is aero and powerful – but most importantly, comfortable!
Tweaking my position on the bike is a voluntary decision. I want to become more powerful and aero, so I choose to change my position for a better outcome. Voluntary changes (“tweaks”) are embraced, even if the immediate feeling is strange. I believe that the end product is going to give me a better chance at being faster, and that makes the initial discomfort worthwhile.
This type of “tweak” is embraced. We perceive it to be a step in the right direction. We believe it is going to help us get better.
What happens when we are forced to tweak our position? I’m not talking about your position on the bike; luckily, you still have control over that. I’m talking about situations that are out of your control.
How do we feel when we like the direction we are heading, we like the the decisions we are making, we like the position we are in, and an obstacle is placed in our way. Somebody tells us that we have to stop; We run out of money to continue a project; An authority tells us that we cannot continue doing the very thing that we thought was good?
Things will continually arise that will challenge you to tweak your position. These situations may force you to tweak your initial direction for a while. It may causes you to get a bit irritated at the situation.
This type of “tweak” is rejected. We perceive this to be an obstacle in the path we thought we were supposed to take. We believe it is going to prohibit us from getting better.
But, with perspective, these ‘forced tweaks’ can actually be the stimulus you need to open up new doors and discover new possibilities.
Ultimately, you have to ask yourself, “Is this ‘thing’ within my control or not?” If it is in your control, do something about it. If it is not in your control, then don’t worry about it.
There is power in understanding the difference. And acting in accordance to your higher calling. Even if the end result is “tweaking your position,” there is power in knowing that you ultimately have control on how you act.