There is something potentially world-class about all of us. We just need an example to follow and the support to get there. There is a better version of you waiting to breakthrough. What new part of you wants out and what new competition might you enter to give that next better self the reason to come out and play?
This week I completed my first mountain bike stage race with my buddy Corey. I enrolled him in the project last winter so I'd have someone to suffer with and enjoy the spoils. We trained all winter to get ready for what would become the toughest three days of riding either of us would ever complete, all strung together in the giddy desert paradise of Moab Utah.
The winner of the marathon was Geoff Kabush from Squamish. He finished in just over half the time I did. I'm mystified about how he does what he does. He won last year and was my inspiration during the long, brutal sessions atop my indoor bike trainer in the dark cold evenings of January, February and March.
The cool thing about an event like this is the opportunity we lesser mortals have to rub shoulders with the gods. In most sports that's fairly impossible to do. But there he was, mixed in with the rest of us. Well, maybe "mixed in" is a bit strong, considering he was done every stage while I was still half way up. Here's Geoff doing his selfie duty after his win...
On the first day I smashed every statistic my coach has been keeping on my performance, like how long I can sustain my power level and heart rate over the time I took to race each stage (basically going full tilt with minimal rest breaks for 3 hours or so a day). This event was my singular greatest athletic achievement on a bicycle.
But despite the enormity of the personal best, I have to confess that at first my ego was a bit bruised to discover I had finished so far behind. Corey pointed out that pretty much everyone in this race was a pro rider or sponsored amateur and that comparing myself was only a recipe for self hate. Fair enough. And, many people are neurologically predetermined to care more about their relative position in a pack than others and unfortunately I'm one of them. That's just my cross to bear, Corey has his own, as do you.
What really matters during any race in life, whether in an athletic or corporate competition, is that we are chasing the future improved versions of ourselves while doing our best to stay ahead of the older, smaller thinking versions.
I have the same bike as Geoff Kabush and I'm roughly his same build, but he is a world-class mountain bike racer and I'm not. His job is to suffer as inspiration for all those who would follow (and buy the same bike he has). My big game is elsewhere. I'm fortunate to spend my time with entrepreneurs and innovators who are world-class in the industries they compete in. My job is to bring this performance out at ever increasing levels of impact. They, like Geoff, are a credit to all Canadians, and prove we can compete and win on a world stage. I get to rub shoulders with these people. And in the end I get to be a better version of myself. That's a good deal. And the best kind of victory.
Now, for one final announcement. We have finally completed the epic next edition in the blindspotting series feature Jeff Belford from Triwest Capital and Terry Bendera from Prostar Energy services. They are elite performers in their respective pursuits and partners in a breakthrough business. They were kind enough to share their story for us. We spent more time on this book and I think it is our best one yet. Watch for in the next two weeks.