Sometimes we over complicate life. I think this is a great road map to follow for a happy life. It really can be this simple.
I was going through a few photos and found this one from last year. A message from my good friend Neal Mueller who was part of a four man team last year to be first to row across the arctic. I helped support their expedition. This was a live shot from their boat he sent to me via satellite.
Amazing feat and amazing that you can now row across the Arctic Ocean since all the ice is melting.
I took up road biking and racing a little over a year and half ago and it’s been a great journey learning something totally new to me. Road bike racing, whether at the club or circuit level, is a chess game and it tests your mental fortitude, physical endurance and your ability to position yourself in the best spot throughout the race to give you the best shot to win.
I use the time on the bike to think about the start-up Zeuss that I am working on with my co-founders. I’ve had great insights during the time on the bike, once you get into a zone (of what I call “absolute focus”) you have a clarity that I would suggest is not possible with emails coming in, phones ringing, texts coming in, IM’s popping up and all the other continuous inbound messaging in our work environments. On a recent ride I started to think about what I learned about cycling over the last year and realized there were a lot of similarities to what it is like to do a start-up. I am on start-up number five, I’ve experienced failure, going sideways and success. I have some scars to prove the failure and a good smile to show for the success. Even if you are not into cycling I think you’ll find something in the insights below that will help you as you forge the long road ahead in your start-up journey.
1) You generally can always count a head wind. The key is to keep peddling and set small goals. Take one mile at a time, don’t think about the fifty you have left to go.
2) When you get a tail wind keep peddling! The tendency will be to take a break and rest, the key is to take advantage of the tail wind and keep your peddling cadence up, this way you get further for the same amount of energy you would have exerted anyway.
3) The weather man is wrong most of the time. The forecast will be one thing and when you walk out the door you can find weather that was not in the forecast at all or the weather will quickly change in the middle of your ride. Keep your eye on the radar, expect surprises and dress appropriately.
4) Draft when you can. When you draft you use up to 30% less energy. If you can draft, do it, the lead person will wear out eventually, but make sure you have a plan of attack to bury that lead when you see he/she/it starts to crack. People can recover, make sure they can not catch you once you pass.
5) You can be great, but it takes dedication and a lot of hard work. You will read articles about the winner that make it look easy. Rarely is anyone or thing an overnight success. It takes hard work to be great, be willing to commit to greatness.
6) Learn how to change your flat tire quickly and keep a tool kit handy. You will get a flat at some point. The key is to know how to change a flat quickly, get back on the bike and quickly develop a plan on how to catch up.
7) Keep hydrated during the race. If you do not take care of yourself and make sure your teammates are doing the same, you will be setting up a weakness that someone will see and it leaves you vulnerable to an attack.
8 ) Eat Right, what you put in creates what you are made of. The race does not just happen when you are on the bike, it happens when you are off of it as well.
9) Learn to relax. Even when things get tough like climbing 15% grade hills learn to relax and set a pace that is sustainable. If you are tense you are wasting energy that could be going directly into the peddles. Gripping the handlebars tight does not make you go faster.
10) Mind games are part of the game. It’s a chess match, learn to think ahead, set traps and continually be doing experiments. This does not mean you should be evil, but you are in it to win. Second place is first place loser, of who no one remembers.
11) It takes team work to be a great bike racer. Winning takes true team work, each person knowing and accepting his/her job on the team. Make sure that is defined and all agree to the roles that have been assigned to them.
12) Be a leader, but realize as a leader you will use more energy. Be prepared and think about that as you train each day.
13) The best bike does not always win, the rider who rides the bike they have the best wins.
14) It’s about winning the tour, not every single race. The tour is long. Sometimes it pays to draft and sometimes it’s OK someone else is in front. While someone in front is basking in the glory and taking the attention of the press etc…, it gives you time to recoup and build. Use the time wisely. When you do pull away from the pack, truly commit to pulling away and to not letting the pack catch you….ever again.
15) Let members of your team be winners too. They helped get you to the top.
16) At times you will experience extreme pain and suffering and think you can not go any further. You can go further, in fact, you can get through the first three signs of pain and suffering that your mind and body will alert you too and try and slow you down. Once you hit the fourth wave of pain, be careful it can kill you, but know you can live through the first three. Too often you are so close success that you do not even realize how close you really are.
17) If you are behind and are going to bridge the gap to the lead group, make sure you are committed and do not stop until you grab the wheel of the group ahead. When you get to the lead group, rest and then start to quickly move up, once they realize you are in the pack, you are a player.
18) Always smile, even when you are hurting, it keeps everyone guessing. But, when you regroup with your team, tell the truth so you can improve.
19) No one remembers the guy who almost won, they remember who won. Trophies of past winners only list first place, but you can make a lot of money in second and third place. Anything after that you better hope to merge with one of the top three teams.
20) Always wear your helmet, you will wreck. It’s not about whether you wreck or not, it about how fast you get back on the bike.
21) Pace yourself. The race is a long one, take time to be in the moment and enjoy the ride.
Thoughts from seat C row 5 on a Soutwest flight in route to San Francisco
When I was booking my ticket a week ago my wife saw I was booking a ticket and asked what day I flying, I replied, “The 13th”. She looked at me and said,”You do know that it will be Friday the 13th?” I smiled and said, “You know me, I like to take risks”, she smiled and that was the end of it. Since then this is the first time I have thought about it, but was reminded when I went to the bathroom and there was the always interesting bathroom line conversation going on, this one around the fact that it was the 13th and how the number 13 is so unlucky. I got back to my seat and was trying to fold my dollar bill into one of the origami patterns that they always have in the back of the airline magazines to prove I could do it because I saw a completed one as I was walking back to my seat. I started thinking about if the number 13 really is an unlucky number.
It dawned on me as I was looking at the dollar bill that maybe the number 13 really is a lucky number in disguise and using it more often would give me, and maybe you now that you are reading this, an advantage because people are programmed to stay away from it. In fact, it might be something that can be used all over the world because it’s pretty much a universal belief: you usually never see a room number 13, there are not 13th floors in tall buildings and on Friday 13th doing out of the ordinary risky things cause us all to cringe a little.But think about this, you can find all these things or things that represent them on the back of a US dollar bill:
13 original colonies
13 signers of the Declaration of Independence
13 stripes on our flag
13 steps on the pyramid
13 letters in ‘AnnuitCoeptis,’ (Latin for “God has favored our undertaking”)
13 letters in ‘ E Pluribus Unum, (Latin for “‘a new order has begun.”)
13 stars above the eagle
13 bars on that shield
13 leaves on the olive branch
13 fruits, and if you look closely
I’m starting to think the number 13 is pretty darn lucky. What do you think?
Pretty cool shot flying over North Carolina from this summer.
With the advent of the new year I’ve revamped my blog and am making it a goal to update it regularly. This is a written commitment. Look for some good stuff in 2012!
One of my top photos of 2011. I caught this shot earlier this year at at Abaco Lodge on Great Abaco, Bahamas while bone fishing for a few days. Amazing storms following amazing days fly fishing for bonefish! Shot with my Nikon D300s.
Skin cancer is no joke, worth getting checked once a year and if a spot is even in question have a biopsy done. This spot was originally diagnosed as a simple sun spot and not cancerous. Thanks to my uncle who is a dermatologist who I saw on vacation recently, he said to have a biopsy done. Thank goodness, could have turned into not a good thing.
Yesterday I wrote about the new Double Triple Oreo cookie and today I’m writing about ice cream. Yes, food is on my mind and some writing about all these fun foods I hope replaces the need to eat too much of them.
It’s hard to forget the Saturday Night Live NPR skit starring Alex Baldwin about “Delicious Schweddy Balls”. Ben and Jerry’s could not resist and recently developed a new limited edition flavor, you guessed it, “Schweddy Balls“. Ben and Jerry’s says the flavor is a Fair Trade vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum and is loaded with fudge covered rum and milk chocolate malt balls. The flavor will be available for a limited time in about 30% of the stores that carry Ben and Jerry’s. I’m not a big rum guy and more of a lover of their Milk and Cookies and Cookie Dough flavors, but if you are a rum lover get out there and eat some Schweddy Balls while you can.
I have been working with several organizations along with our foundation, Marine Ventures Foundation and Blue Cloud Spacial, on helping restoration efforts in the Colorado River Delta. It’s a pretty amazing place. Check out the video below where I was the Producer. We have a longer documentary in the works that will be entered into film festivals.