Do The Hard Work First
Does doing the hard work lead to success? And is it better to do it first?
I’m A Cyclist.
A road cyclist, not a mountain trail rider. I ride a bike with the skinny tires and the handlebars that curl down. No fat tire bikes for me. The guys who ride those are crazy. And they’re a lot younger. I’m 66, and if I tried mountain riding I’m sure I’d crash and get hurt. My balance isn’t what it was in my younger days. While I’m not a professional, I am an avid amateur. I try to ride 5 days a week if I can, and I usually shoot for 20-30 miles per ride. I do it because it’s fun. I also do it because it’s my preferred form of exercise. I’ve had both knees replaced and cycling is easy on the knees.
Cycling And Wind: A Love-Hate Relationship
Wind is good, and wind is bad. It’s great for kite flying, for example, and for generating electricity with windmills. You want wind if you have a sailboat too. If you’re a road cyclist, like I am, headwinds can be really hard, if they’re really strong. Tailwinds are the reward for riding into headwinds.
Of course, you are not always riding directly into the wind and you do not always have the wind at your back. Crosswinds are common too. Crosswinds are another story. I remember the day this past spring when the wind was so strong that my riding partner and I couldn’t ride crosswind, because the wind pushed us around too much and we couldn’t hold a safe line. We had ridden out to a local lake called Highline Lake, about 13 miles from home, and the wind strengthened while we were taking our break. On the way back when we turned east, the wind, which was blowing out of the south, nearly blew us over. We made a fast decision to abort. My wife rescue us that day.
Wind plays a big role in cycling. For years I rode my bike to work in the morning and home again in the afternoon. Around here in western Colorado the wind is usually blowing out of the east in the morning, then shifts direction around the middle of the day and blows out of the west in the afternoon. Since I live about 11 miles west of where I worked, it was my fate to ride into a headwind both ways. You know the old saying, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Riding into the headwinds both ways every day was an extra workout. I finally got tired of it and retired.
There isn’t any way to avoid the wind. Well, there’s one. Ride indoors on a stationary bicycle. Where’s the fun in that? Or maybe on one of those banked oval tracks the olympians use. We don’t have one around here.
Now days I have the luxury of planning my rides, taking the wind into account. Most of the time anyway. Today, for instance, the wind was blowing out of the west during the time I was going to ride, blowing at about 13-20 mph. I planned my ride to go back to Highline Lake again, and then return, a 25 mile loop.
I chose that route because the first 5 miles is a gentle uphill grade heading north, and since the wind was out of the west, I would be riding with a manageable crosswind during the climb. The route zig-zagged a couple of times, and all the uphill grades were crosswinds, all the west legs were headwinds, and the headwinds were pretty strong. But on the return, the crosswinds would be downhill, and the eastern legs would be tailwinds.
The ride out was hard, as I expected, but the ride back was my reward. My speed out was 13-15 mph, my speed back was 18-20 mph.
Here’s a short video about riding in strong winds. I think the guys who made it are from Australia, but I’m not sure. The narrator has a strong accent, and talks in terms of the metric system.
Don’t Forget To Plan, In Whatever You Want To Do.
The point of all this is the relevance of planning, and the importance of doing the hard work early so the easier work can be enjoyed later on. This applies to the business world too. Do the hard work, the business building, first, and the easier work, maintaining your business, later. Don’t do it backwards.
I have found that when I happen to do the easy part first, I don’t have as much energy for the hard part. And that makes the hard work harder.
Remember, After The Effort Comes The Reward.
It’s in our nature to find the easy way if we can. Some things, though, don’t have an “easy way.” If that’s the case, we shouldn’t shy away from doing what’s hard, should we? If we do, we don’t get whatever result the hard work requires. Is the hard work worth it? Of course it is.
My hope for you is that you focus yourself and dedicate yourself to your own success, in whatever goals you want to achieve. Doing the hard work required to succeed is worth it, so just do it. Hard work leads to success.
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