This is difficult.
There is a fine line between unsolicited advice and bragging.
Recently, while on a club ride, I was in form. You know those days when everything kind of clicks. The temperature is perfect. Your hydration is set. Your diet has been spot on. Your training has been grinding and painful. Suddenly, it all comes together. Then the unexpected . . .
As I moved rapidly through the pack on a climb and topped the hill ahead of everyone else, a rider moved up beside me a few minutes later and asked me if I take anything to help me train or ride better. Wait. What? I thought he was kidding. I told him that I did not, if he doesn’t count a multi-vitamin. We then discussed training, eating, and hydration. It’s very hard in those situations because normally the guy that wants to know an advantage is the same dude that wants to shave 13 grams off of his bike when he won’t put down the fast food.
Here’s how it works for me.
There is beast called Mr. Hard Work. He’s unusual to many people. Many have never met the guy. They wouldn’t know him if they saw him, but they run from him all of the time. They hide when they get a text from him about a long, hard group ride. They look at the rain or cold and give him an excuse not to train. They whine because Hard Work made their legs so sore the last time they did front squats. Hard Work demands too much. He wakes you up to train when it’s still dark out . He doesn’t relax . . . no weekends, no holidays, no vacation from training. He drains you. He makes you doubt yourself. He questions your abilities.
Hard Work doesn’t take partial payments. It is everything or nothing. Many play with Hard Work and think that he will somehow reward you after you quit half way through a workout or ate like a pig a feeding trough. Hard Work does not give a crap what kind of bike you bought or how light it is. You cannot pay your way past Hard Work. He sees what you’re doing . . . or rather not doing.
I met Mr. Hard Work when I was a child. My dad introduced me to him. He sucked from the moment I met him, but he knew one thing about me: I was NOT scared of him. Get up early? Not a problem. Work hard for eleven hours? Okie dokie. Sacrifice time with friends? Sure! Do you know why, Mr. Hard Work? I am NOT scared of you. I want to separate myself from the pack. I want to be stronger and faster. Oh, and one more thing, Mr. Hard Work: don’t even think about reminding me of my age. I can dig very, very deep. Keep bringing it.
So . . . what do I take? I take pride in Hard Freaking Work. Yeah, I know his middle name.