I have 3 grown children who teach me something new every day.
My eldest and I have played a lot of golf together. He is one of those players that never improves his lie and counts every, I mean every, penalty stroke. He is, without question, the most honest player I know. He would never think of cheating, not even to beat me. The one word that immediately comes to mind when I think of him is integrity.
The middle one is an accomplished athlete that has competed at both the national and international levels. Sports come easily to him. He excels at every one he tries in part because he is gifted (strong, flexible and coordinated) and, in part because he works very hard. He studies how to improve and trains relentlessly. The one thought that comes to mind when I think of him is hard working.
And, the youngest thinks of others before herself. Her friends are all important. And, she is helpful around the house helping out with all of the household chores. She respects others regardless of their age, colour or religion and is actively pursuing a career working with troubled children and families. When I think of her, the one word that quickly comes to mind is compassion.
This triumvirate rules. Integrity. Hard work. And, compassion. These qualities are the key to success. These are qualities I admire most in others. Qualities, I would like to think, I also possess.
“What does this have to do with cycling?”, you ask. Nothing, other than the thought came to mind while riding.
“Do these qualities make me a better cyclist?” I think so. It takes hard work to improve. Long rides. Hill repeats. Long climbs. You also need to be honest with yourself. It is important to set realistic goals. You need to be truthful about your capabilities. At 60, I cannot expect to keep up with 30 year olds. And lastly, you need to practice self-compassion, recognize when you are hurting and understand you are not alone. You were not born perfect. It is ok to make mistakes. Be compassionate with yourself.
“What is self-compassion?”, you ask. Watch this short video.
What does all this mean? It means my kids make me a better cyclist.