Everyone is so hung up on training, and it’s important to keep consistent training to make the improvements, but we forget balance.
Balance isn’t just the skill you need to stay upright on the bike, but I mean balance in life. You have to balance work, responsibilities and training with having fun. Training can be fun, but the freedom you get from leaving the “stats” behind and just riding is really important.
The best times I’ve had on my bike are shared with riding buddies on some adventurous and hard day, which in itself was hard training. The days theme wasn’t training though, and was filled with childish man banter, wheelies and hot-dogging it down dodgy rock gardens. We stopped midday for a beer at the half-way point and shared our stories about the dodgy lines the rider in front of us took. Riding home on tired legs and novel “beer lines”, we make our way up the final hill home and find the legs are not as co-operative as they where at the start of the day. What this tell us is, that you can maintain balance and have loads of fun. Finding balance really isn’t about putting training, or work or something else aside, it’s about shifting it (prioritizing if you will) as needed. When work requires more time, you work more, when you need a holiday you prioritize rest. Most people are under the wrong impression, that to gain balance you have to give something up, when in fact it means shifting things around to gain balance…..life on a life boat, you only have 4 items inside, and if they are all at the back, the boat will tip, so you put them in all 4 corners to balance it. When you need one of the 4 items, you stay in the middle to use them, thus maintain your balance.