To Perform Well Hang Out With People Who Perform Well


Hi folks,

Have you ever seen a ''river of Grackles?" I did, along the North Carolina coast, and it was just like this. Breathtaking. From:

Birds of a feather tend to flock together, so choose ‘your flock’ wisely. This is why I like to attend triathlon training camps, as they provide me with the opportunity to mingle with talented athletes and learn from them. I also meet some older people, like myself, who are endeavoring to become better athletes in spite of the inevitable aging process. The energy of the group just pulls you along. If you sit in a bar with a bunch of guys, you get pulled along by the energy to have yet another beer, or even a cigarette (REALLY BAD IDEA, from a lifelong non-smoker who has done some research on cigarette smoke). These things may be fine in their place, but if you hope to perform well in a sport you might want to have 10 workouts for every evening spent in the bar. This reasoning also applies to the selection of training partners, which you need to choose carefully, especially if you have some kind of health challenge.

Rory, the guy who managed to shame me into actually getting going on the bike. Thanks, my friend!

As a neophyte triathlete, a sport that I entered about 12 years ago, my cycling skills were poor to say the least. That all started to change six or seven years ago when a fellow-scientist, and really talented cyclist, Rory Conolly, invited me to ride with him. For about the next two years he patiently waited for me to catch up on every hill. But over the next five years things slowly changed. He would turn around and find I was still there, exhibit a little surprise, but say nothing. Then I bought my first decent road bike, a Trek Madone, studied Feldenkrais, worked with new and demanding coach, Chris Haute, and it all started to come together. These variables changed my bike pace dramatically. Soon thereafter, during a 20-mile loop near Jordan Lake I noticed that I was having trouble staying on Rory’s wheel, but I did anyway. Little did I know that he was doing his best to drop me. At the end of the loop Rory looks over his shoulder, notices that I am still with him, and says, Damn you, Morgan.” The greatest compliment of my cycling career. I had moved up a notch, and largely thanks to Rory pulling me along. He still drops me on long hills, but nowhere else. That is what happens when you hang out with the right people. Same kind of things occurred at the AIMP Coast Ride from San Francisco to San Diego. Here I learned that if you are being dropped off of the back of the group, don’t change down and spin, change up and suffer and you’ll be right back with the group in no time. This training finally resulted in my coming in under seven hours on the bike leg at the Lake Placid Ironman 2010, a decent time for my age group.

If you want to improve, tag along at the back but don’t get dropped even if it hurts a lot. It also helps to remember another thing that Rory told me: “You can’t see another person’s pain!

Keep spinning through life.

-k Your Medical Mind


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.