Just Starting To Ride
The day that changed my life, happened in 2007. I was 37 and had purchased my first road bike. Twenty-five mile rides that were relatively flat around Denver, were my average bike rides. One day, I decided to do a ride in the Denver area with an LGBTQ+ cycling group called OUTSPokin’. This bike ride was a bit longer and about 1000 feet of climbing.
When we finished, I was proud of myself, because it was hard and challenging. It felt very rewarding to have finished it. I really loved the way it made my muscles feel strong, especially as we climbed Dinosaur Ridge.
The Triple Bypass?
We were standing around talking after the ride and a couple of women started talking about a bike ride they were training for called “The Triple Bypass.” What a funny name I thought. Being curious, I asked, “What is The Triple Bypass?”
“It’s a ride that is 120 miles, over three mountain passes, with a bit more than 10,000 feet of climbing, all in one day. It starts in Evergreen and goes to Avon, CO which is just past Vail,” this woman, Pam Zaske said to me, with a serious face.
I looked at her thinking, she’s crazy. She has lost her mind. That kind of ride isn’t possible. She’s making it up. There is no way.
I just could not get my mind around it.
“Y’all are crazy!” I said. “There is no way!”
Pam just laughed at me and then she said something that changed my life forever. “You know, you can pretty much do anything you want, as long as you have he right mindset and you train for it.”
What did THAT mean? I had just done a ride a 30 mile ride with about 1000 feet of climbing and I was pooped! There was no way I could do four times the miles and ten times the climbing, all in one day. NO WAY.
Changing My Mindset
Over the next two years, I did many training rides with OUTSpokin’. I got to know them better and started to understand what Pam was talking about. Mandy of them completed huge rides like The Triple Bypass. They would talk about their training, how challenging the weather was or the climb was. There always seemed to be a point during a ride, where they had to dig deep and just figure out how to kept going.
They also talked about how they would never do it again! But of course, a few days later, they were already thinking and training for the next big ride.
If you are around this type of mindset long enough, it will eventually wear off on you. Two years later, in 2009, I decided to give The Triple Bypass a shot.
It was amazing. Probably the hardest thing I have ever done, but also one of the most special days of my life. I loved every minute of it…the beauty, the rain, the cold, the views, the hard, the extremely exhilarating downhills and of course, the accomplishment.
Changing My Life
That one sentence by Pam, changed my life. As I became stronger, more fit, and more determined mentally around cycling, this affected other areas of my life. My career, my relationships, and my finances, all improved over the new 10 years, as I worked hard at becoming a better cyclist. All of this, put me on a course of improving myself not only physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
I now know that anything in my life is possible, if I just set my mindset and train for it. Using this approach in growing my business, improving my financial life, and creating better relationships, has been a game changer. It is why I work so hard at helping other leaders develop more self-awareness as well. Read more here about what I do.
I have to have the right mindset around the task at hand, and I have to train for it, by learning new skills and gaining new information and perspectives.
It has not always been an easy path to take, but this approach to life has been very fulfilling and rewarding. It has also brought me inner peace and joy, when I didn’t have that before. There is also a very deep belief in myself and my abilities because I learned how to climb huge mountains on my bike.
New Challenges Ahead
Today there are new challenges, of course, but I still use this same approach. I ask myself, how can I create a better mindset and what do I need to learn to improve this situation and my life.
Remember, anything is possible if you have the right mindset and you train for it!