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I try to write about three times per week. Most of it is pretty good and will probably help you grow your business. If it doesn't, then I probably can't help you.

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

The Lesson of the Bike Ride

posted this on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at about 8am.
The Lesson of the Bike Ride

For most of my life I've been an indoor guy. Sure, I've gone camping or eaten on the patio when going out to eat at a restaurant. But, I've not really taken seriously outdoor activity. By extension, I've not taken seriously my health.

Recently I decided to turn over a new leaf for real. No, really for real. I now go to the gym every weekday that I'm in town and workout with a trainer that likes to cause pain (lots and lots of pain). I have set a goal to be able to say that when I turn 40 (less than a year away) that I'm in the best shape of my life.

When I was 19 and 20, I was in pretty good shape so I've a long way to go.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Idaho Governor's Cup with my wife. One of the activities was a bike ride. It was led by John Foster and I knew that I might be out of my element. But, I also knew that since I've been working out hard all summer and I have gone on bike rides at my own pace, I needed to test myself.

Well, the bike ride, which wasn't very advanced, kicked my butt. I pushed as hard as I could but after close to an hour (you know when it actually started getting hard) I had to quit early. I had gone up a hill that was beyond my ability to keep going. I don't think my heart had ever raced that hard.

As I came back to the hotel, I realized there are a number of life lessons in this experience.

You can't go down without going up

The first thing I did on my way back was get off the trail and get on a road. The road was all downhill all the way and I was able to really fly. That was quite a fun experience. But, if I hadn't pushed to get up to the top of the hill, I would not have had that experience.

Going down without the work of going up isn't quite the same experience. The key thing that made that experience so enjoyable was reflecting on how hard it was to get to that point.

Hard things produce great results

As bad of shape as I now realize I am in, I hate to think how poorly I would have performed early in the summer. I thought I was in good shape but knowing what I know now, I must have been on my deathbed in May. I know that I'm in a better place now than I was before and I know, if I keep working, I'll be even better next time.

The most important thing that hard things produce is a feeling of accomplishment. Although I had to bow out early, I recognize that I have come a long way in my quest to be healthy.

You have to test yourself to know

The reality is that without this experience, I would never have known my real physical limit. I now know where my physical ability is and have a great benchmark to look at when I get on a hard trail again.

You always have to test yourself. If you just coast along in life, you'll never know what you can really accomplish. You'll never really know if you are meeting your potential or just doing ok.

You have to pace yourself

The very next day, my wife and I went for a long bike ride. About 17 miles. At about seven miles in, we met a hill that was about the same eleveation rise and about the same length... only 3,000 feet higher in the mountains. I paced myself better. I took more time while I was riding and took short breaks as I got tired.

The result, I was able to climb the hill more quickly than the day before and was fine to finish the last 10 miles of the ride. An appropriate pace made all the difference in the world.

Bottom line

In life we are tasked with doing things that are hard. Too often we take the easy way out. We don't take the time to push ourselves to see what we are really made of. Oftentimes we'll be surprised that we are either better than we think or not as good.

Testing ourselves is the way we give ourselves a reality check and sets us up for real growth.

Corey Smith and his wife are the proud parents of five wonderful children and live in Meridian, Idaho. He is the president of Tribute Media, a Meridian based Web Design & Marketing Agency.

He is the author of two books, "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter." You can learn more about his books here.

Interested in having Corey speak for your organization? Need help building or marketing your organization? Want to tell Corey how cool you think he is?

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