Don’t make things HARDER and just FLOW

Ahhhhh, it feels so good to breathe the fresh air again…

Spring finally emerged from the long, drawn out winter here in Toronto and on the first sunny day I dusted my bike off, pumped up the tires and went out for a spin.

It was sunny but crisp and the cool air felt great on my face as I cruised around, enjoying the freedom from the posture-destroyer that is the driver’s seat of my car.

It was also a very windy day, unfortunately, due to another cold front blowing in that would give us one last taste of winter (and snow!) before we’re finally free from its icy grips.

I rode around for maybe half an hour, maybe more, then made my way home, the final stretch being north on Jane Street, which is a long and gentle uphill perfect for getting a hard final sprint in.

As I started the sprint, I felt the wind pick up directly opposing my progress.

The wind didn’t relent and it kept pushing me back, trying to slow me down.

Combined with the gradual uphill, any letting up would slow me to a crawl and on a fixie, it would be a slow and quad-burning ride.

There’s something about riding a fixed gear bike, perhaps it’s the fact that the rider is in perfect rhythm with the bike, that allows insights to flash into my mind when I’m fully present and feeling the flow.

On this ride, which under the conditions could’ve been the brutal struggle it’s been in the past, I realized the power of accepting what IS.

Yes, the wind was blowing hard in my face and it is uphill the rest of the way.

Yes, I wasn’t in the same riding-shape I normally am in.

Yes, my butt is kinda uncomfortable because I’m wearing the wrong underwear and jeans.

Those things are all true.

NO MATTER.

I can’t do anything about those things.

What I can do though is focus on breathing and efficient pedalling.

And that’s what I did.

And I surprised myself (and a few passengers in cars I blew by) at just how fast I ripped up that hill home.

I know for a fact that if I’d thought,

“Oh man, this is gonna be tough,
and I’m already kinda tired,”

… the ride would’ve been a lot slower and less enjoyable.

So the insight was that I realized that it’s NOT so much a summoning of superhuman feats of physical fitness.

I definitely was in worse shape than before.

It’s more about letting go of normal human thoughts that often occur automatically that make things harder than they have to be.

Those thoughts often include fighting what is, or reacting to it.

But, when you accept instead of fight or react, you can move on.

And what you can move on to is to direct all of your energy and thoughts to the only things that matter, which in this case for me, was breathing and efficiently pedalling.

When you do this, SUPERIOR results and performances can occur, almost like magic.

I don’t have a formula or system for you to follow to make this happen.

But I do know that it won’t happen without practice and faith that what I’m saying here is true.

So keep practicing.

Keep accepting what is.

It’ll come.

If you’re doing grueling interval work, stop thinking about how hard it is and how you didn’t eat the right meal exactly 1.5 hours before the workout.

This is what IS.

Just focus on the things that matter: breathing and running efficiently by letting go of any tension that isn’t contributing to your pace.

If you’re in a fight, it doesn’t matter who’s standing across from you.

This is what IS.

What matters is having “NO-MIND” and breathing and trusting that your training will get you the result.

Hey – it looks like there’s a commonality to all 3 scenarios I presented here…

You might want to pay attention to this a little more.

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David Matajosh szymanowskiMicheleSybilVince Recent comment authors
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David Mata
David Mata

This reminds me Of every single one of my tournaments. It seems like before anything happens i always get nervous, hungry, jittery, sweaty and somehow i usually end up saying ” whatever, I’m here and I might as well do what i have been training to do” i forget about being nervous or hungry and just fight. Then when I’m done i go and eat a nice juicy burger.

josh szymanowski
josh szymanowski

The mind controls, and the body will follow. Great post!

Michele
Michele

So true for pretty much everything.. Excellent point.

Sybil
Sybil

Absolutely! Thank you for the reminder.

Vince
Vince

Funnily enough, I have a similar bike ride back to my new place. I do the same ride quite often and they can be very different rides, especially the end going up the hill home.

It definitely is a state of mind thing, and when I don’t think how annoying it is going up the hill or whatever, it’s quite easy and sometimes I wish that I actually had further to bike before getting home

Tommygunmma
Tommygunmma

On point eric! Anyone serious about what they do might wanna read this one more time. Your programs as well as my mixed martial arts training/fights have taught me this concept. Hard training easy combat

Harry Schmalz
Harry Schmalz

Well put Eric! How hope springs eternal where the rubber meets the road…thx

Harry Schmalz
Harry Schmalz

Reminds me of a couple of things. All of which point to the centrality if healthy perspective. I use the term heAlthy because anything I believe enough to act on needs to be rooted in reality not just wishful thinking. That reality may ir may not include a suoreme being in your view, but tirrespective of that minor detail….no matter how soft clouds look from above when in an airplAne, no amount of faith in something is gping to matter if you are mistaken on plaving your trust on faulty premises…you would on fact fall right through to the ground. The vetting of a source you can build from is beyond the scope if your articke, but needs addressed sooner or later….that said, the amazing power of belief in acting on ehat you know and of riding with higher objectives in mind when there is little to nothing in yoyr… Read more »