I wish I could have followed up more quickly on my commentary related to the Millennium Generation, but the Barnett Bicycle Institute (more below) in Co Springs had me slammed for two straight weeks.
However, I should mention a few things.
I got a number of emails and feedback from friends about my blog. In several cases, my buddies gave me specific examples of their own feelings/needs in the working world as well as the vocal opinions of their older colleagues. In addition to that I received a number of emails that asked whether or not I was trying to pass myself off as being "lazy."
First off, anything that I consider to be an achievement in my life has taken a lot of work. In fact, I imagine that anything that came to me easily probably doesn't even make my list of accomplishments. I'm not saying I'm lazy, but I am saying that my outlook on life and goals differ from tradition (as I see it).
Now, that aside; most emails asked whether or not I believe that the "laziness" of my generation will ultimately be met by the reality of the "real world." I suppose most of us believe that idealism is slowly whithered away by the realities of the real world.
Here is what I probably did not quite get across in my last blog. I_believe_that the underlying theme amongst this generation is the pursuit of happiness. Youngsters today are deciding to be more happy than their parents as opposed to just having more "stuff" than them. Its their way of defining a "better life" than their parents'.
Personally, I actually believe that if people can stick to this ideal then they might actually be more financially successful as well. That's an irony that the cynical will not allow as they often believe that money and security work inversely with happiness (in my opinion).
I'm generally an optimist so I'm going to keep believing that our generation will change (the world) for the better by reorganizing their priorities.
I spent the past two weeks attending a course called Bicycle Repair and Overhaul which was hosted by the Barnett Bicycle Institute in Colorado Springs. The majority of the class was made up of folks who work on bikes, or folks who plan to work on bikes, for a living. I was the only one there who desired this knowledge to try to get the most out of my equipment for training and racing purposes.
Triathlon has always stimulated my need for knowledge when it comes to training, physiology, etc., but I have never been particularly turned on by "the gear." When I started triathlon I had little money for fancy gear, but I had time to train so I felt that investing time in the knowledge of my body (and training that body) was the number one priority. I figured that there was always time for fancy gear, but the engine had to come first.
I still believe this. Good nutrition, massage, etc are always budgeted before investments in gear. Gear will always be replaced.
Nevertheless, the time has come where small percentages of improvements add up to big gains on race day.
And so I spent over 100 hours in two weeks working on bikes. I gained knowledge and respect for the machines that propel me (and for the folks that have worked on them for me over the years).
Its a week before Xmas.
I think half of the US is covered in snow right now and I doubt many of you are feeling entirely motivated for many more reasons than just that. I found myself at the Manitou Springs pool the other day and the the aqua aerobics class was rocking out to Kenny G's Christmas album.
This is hardly the environment to get wicked fit in.
And that's ok. We all need some down time every now and then, but it is important to keep moving despite all the distractions, adverse weather conditions, etc. I was exceptionally busy for the past six weeks and the only goal I made was to average one hour of aerobic exercise per day per week amidst all the commotion. I managed to meet that goal and even slightly exceed it on a couple occasions. That is only 25% (or less) of my "normal" training load and yet I was totally satisfied.
What I find interesting is that if I trained 8 hours/week when I wanted to train 30 then I would certainly see myself as a failure (in a microcosmic sense). However, training 8 hours when I wanted 7 makes me a success and makes me feel that progress was made.
Its important that we take into account what we can and cannot achieve at any given moment within a day, week, month or season. Its also important that we do what we can with what we have. It should never be assumed that a few minutes of training (or anything else) is ineffective because its so minuscule in comparison to what we want.
It all matters. Every single footstep, pedal stroke, and swim stroke matter.