Championship Lifestyle/Specialized Intelligence

Still Small Voice

42“Together, we’ve been racing over forty years! After all this time, me and Graeme are still learning new things. That’s what’s so cool about bike racing.” Tania Duff-Miller, Winning Kiwi


MIT's collegiate cyclist Mark Cote, "being a geek works out in the real world."

MIT's collegiate cyclist Mark Cote, "being a geek works out in the real world."

Champions show a drive for ever-learning, better methods, faster machines, improved character – 43specialized intelligence: “To win – in sports, business, school or elsewhere – requires emotional skills (suppression of ego, patience, handling pressure), intuitive skills (connecting with and acting upon your internal voice), a big picture perspective about your challenges, and the ability to be flexible and learn from experience.”

This is a way of life that can translate from racing into other pursuits. Tom Ritchey, frame designer, thinks of new products and tests others during daily rides. He continues to produce championship goods and contribute to winning causes. He constantly strives for improvement.

In plenty of ride time, some can be allocated for contemplation. For a pro, there is a lot of down time necessary for rest and recovery. During these times, thinking through myriads of methods for improvement in all areas is part of the job. One dominant winner studied libraries of books in spare time to keep a sharp mind. Others are interested in aerodynamics, engineering, physiology, and other sciences related to improved physical performance. Others ponder philosophy, public relations, start charitable causes and contribute well-rounded personalities to the peloton.

Champions are constantly seeking new information that will give even tiny improvements. They inspire and permit test after test as a means to track progress not merely interested in opinion or what used to work. Many innovations in the sport come from these riders, as do many positive interactions to teach and inspire.


Prayer for Specialized Intelligence
“And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice.” 441 Kings 19:11

We are thankful that we have hours each day to spend productively. We confess it’s easy to be one-track cyclists stuck in the same worn groove. We ask for presence of mind to listen and learn and to contribute in fresh ways to the sport and to the world.                                


Ponder How do I spend spare time? Affirm I am thinking through today’s challenges and learning new ways to meet them. Watch the big shows and storms but note the quiet whispers that follow for genius insights and ideas.




42Conversations with Tania Duff-Miller, one of cycling’s good hearts and tough riders. This comment came after an unexpected tactic by a competitor. She and husband, Graeme Miller continued to win right up until retirement. They reside in New Zealand.

43How Lance Does It: Put the success formula of a champion into everything you do by Brad Kearns Copyright © 2007 Brad Kearns published by McGraw Hill Books.

44Amplified Bible Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

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