New Year’s Resolutions

Resolutions are for those who lack the courage to change today. It is silly. The natural order of change is to do just that! CHANGE! To undergo metamorphosis. Yes, it often means that in the process you discard that which is no longer useful, but no where does the word change or metamorphosis indicate that we have to wait until tomorrow, or next year to begin!

The fear of the unknown and fear of loss is what holds us in violent patterns of consistency. The beauty of change resides in its spontaneity, its lack of reason (or reasons we cannot comprehend at the given moment) and its often rejuvenating nature (to those listening).

Instead, a small goal or object each day can help one move forward now, not later. This goal can be as small as saying “good-day” to each person you meet on the bike trail, or something as large as finally finishing your thesis. Either way, a tangible and manageable goal today will take you one step closer to your aspirations. So have the courage to look within, find a task and do it completely. Make it the best “good-day” you can. Project that which you wish to receive and create a beautiful reality.

Get fired up with JSparls

Caffeine: Daily use vs. Performance

It’s the holiday season again and everyone likes to give themselves a present right? Well then try the gift of a caffeine-free lifestyle. A number of my coaching clients have recently challenged themselves with this journey of detoxification and are now, just two weeks later, realizing large improvements to their health and fitness.

Some of the results have included the ability to nap on command, sleep through the night consistently, manage stronger friendships/relationships and read their favourite books or detailed textbooks for greater periods of time.

Why does a caffeine-free lifestyle create such positive changes? Because like refined sugar, caffeine is a powerful drug! For a detailed report about the how our cells use energy and what caffeine does to that process, please check out this link. Or take the PubMed route and hear what Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org has to say about caffeine.

December Cycling: Mini Camps

December is a tricky time of year for cyclists with too much time on their hands. How hard should I train? I don’t want to burn out! But I don’t want to waste my time! What to do?

Step 1: Look at your race season. How many days of stress are you going to be dealing with? Multiple days in a row?

Step 2: Create your own training camps/mock stage races.  Shoot for 3-4 days in a row, followed by 2-3 days easy. This way you can usually target good weather and weekends.

Step 3: Plan it out, make it hard, get it done and then take Christmas off. Place more emphasis on the recovery portion of these “on days” than on the rides themselves as it is by monitoring differences in sensations due to changes to nutrition, sleep and general stress that will provide the most long term benefits. Learn your body. Take notes.

Step 4: Realize that each day is a notch in the tree, and only in time can it become a canoe. Precision and patience today = perfection tomorrow. So do as Krogg would do, and go swing that axe. Then have big caveman nap!

Riding in the Winter

Everyone says…just deal with it. It makes you tough. You’ll be better off during the April Spring Series. You’ll have an edge at every rainy race. The group riders will think you’re a badass. Or if not, at least you think you are! Ride in the rain, snow, sleet, thunderstorms, tornadoes….get nuts!

Whow Ace….chill out. Inclement weather is just that, so respect it. But let’s take the ego out of the equation. Like this group of kids in Calgary. They ride to school because they like to ride their bikes. Period.

So next time you suit up for those inclement conditions….remember just why you are going out there. Hopefully it is because you love it. You have nothing to prove to anyone. Stay safe out there! To learn more about some gear choices, read this one!

 

Should I try meditation?

Trends are cool, patterns are powerful, fractals are fundamental and so is meditation. If you haven’t tried meditation yet…”it sounds hard, I don’t get it, sounds boring”, then I would strongly suggest you invest some more time in yourself.

Finding success in all walks of life, including athletic goals, requires strong mental fortitude. Would you start the race season without riding your bike? Thinking that you can just power through it and still win the race….ya right, that would be incredibly naive and a giant waste of your race fee investment. So why do you go to that same race without confronting your own consciousness before hand?

In silence, we can learn a great many things about ourselves that no nutrition book, coach’s interval session or game of Sudoku can teach us.  So be courageous and follow the inflow and outflow of your breathe. You never know what you may discover.
Great sources include the Chopra Center, Learning Meditation.com and The Meditation Podcast. Of course as a Toque Coaching client, you’ll have open access to many types of meditation sources if ‘inner work’ is interesting to you. If so, I also strongly recommend learning about Dyhan Vimal and his free 90 day challenge.
Good Health!
PS: Did you know the root of the words heal and whole are the same!

Rediscovery

It’s dark, raining, cold, and slippery, but instinct is conquering habit so I keep pedaling.  Bright reds and whites glare off the glossy black of the surface out ahead of my handlebar spotlight. Shoulders hunched up close to my ears, forehead tipped down slightly, I squint my eyes away from the beating raindrops.

Out of the saddle, my legs flick underneath effortlessly. My gloves, still dry but dampening, warm my fingers as I gingerly navigate through the many slippery urban obstacles. The dinner in my tummy is now almost digested and I feel lighter and faster after each kilometer pedaled. Is commuting to dinner with friends better on the way to or on the way home? Balancing baguettes or pedaling out the flaky pastries?

Either way I don’t want to stop riding, I don’t want to stop moving forward. Sometimes it is the fight to stay upright, something that a cyclist can almost take for granted on dry roads, that reconnects an experienced rider with the joyful early days of bike riding. And as in life, sometimes those wobbles make the day and the journey worth remembering.