Staying Power: Cycling & Patience

Staying Power

81“…people have to realize cycling is a sport of time. It takes time to train. It takes time to get fit. It takes time to learn race tactics. It takes time, so be patient.” Mike Sayers, Pro Cyclist

Sayers knows about cycling's pitfalls and pitstops

The mantra of our times seems to be, “we want it all, and we want it now.” Two proud flaws of entitlement are: 1. blindness to the benefits of a long labor in the same direction and 2. blame when quick solutions elude.

Despite soundbyte communication and speed dating, there is no shortcut to valuable, lasting excellence. In cycling, there are immediate results and long-term results. How many overnight sensations have you seen burn off like morning mists?

It takes about 100 races just to begin to understand strategy, and some never get it, clueless about what’s really going on in a race. One cycling mantra is it takes 5 years to know how to use your legs, and five more to execute what you can imagine. It’s a beautiful thing to experience a rider’s chrysalis into that second decade.

Physiologically, 82it takes about 10-12 years to make a male europro. Instant success may come to a rare few, and if they stick with it, now we’re talking world class and record-breaking.

The best used implement in the toolbox of winning skills is willingness to wait while working…the dreaded PATIENCE. This tool comes out in the final breaths of hard effort, sensing that momentum is about to reverse, surprised by a second wind, discovering the right opportunity to act. This tool works especially well with others because it knows its prize-winning place in the box. This tool can be cruel if wielded against you forcing you to wait; but with the protection of hope, it becomes teachable and trusting.

Patience believes the best is yet to come, pride sadly thinks it is passing and must all be seized now. It’s as important a tool to carry in your saddle bag as a tire iron for patience can fix a broken spirit and keep you rolling on.

Prayer for Patience
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” 83Ecclesiastes 7:8

We are thankful that meaning and value are added through the depths of time and perseverance. We confess we don’t contain our desire for speed separately from patience in the soul. As hardship must come, keep us encouraged as we wait, energized as we work.

Ponder Am I using energy to push away what instead should be persisted? Affirm I can tough it out and finish stronger than I began. Watch for a generous spirit as patience makes your heart large enough for a task as big as was meant for your life.

81“The Best Cycling Advice,” by Bruce Hendler, PezCycling News posted on Mike Sayers has wonderful tenacity as a star domestique.

82Presentations by Andy Coggan, Exercise Physiologist, power guru, and Masters Cyclist, from clinics held between November 2004 – October 2006 on Cycling-Specific Exercise Physiology which noted research comparisons of VO2 Max and power at LT as indicators of performance potential.

83The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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