I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT one of the insights from the book Into The Headwinds which I'm reading and how it applies to going fast on a bicycle by tapping into...

... our inner elephant.

Not a circus elephant on a bike.

We are primarily the products of thinking that is below the level of awareness.  

That's the elephant.

Here's how it applies to bicycle racing.

New racers are like the rider, hyper aware and nervous and desperately trying to take it all in...

... think will power.

Experienced racers are like the elephant, much more relaxed...

... like daydreaming while driving home after work.

The rider has finite reserves.

The elephant has limitless energy.

Why is it so hard to establish a new habit?  Because the elephant is in charge of the routine events in our lives.

Want to eat better?
Sleep better?
Train regularly?

The elephant is hard to overcome.  Too much inertia.

However, the authors state...

If we do something with our rational/conscious self (the rider) long enough, we can train our intuitive/unconscious self (the elephant) to take over the task.  The boundary between the elephant and rider is not static or impermeable.

I see it so clearly now.

In the beginning racing, particularly off road, required massive amounts of emotional energy.  After years of riding and racing, instead of being nearly panicked during tense and technical racing...

... I slip into a state of flow.

Do you see it now?

Have you had that feeling or sensation on or off the bike?

The caveat, of course, is long enough.

What is long enough?

I've read it takes anywhere from 21 days to 60 days to establish a new habit.  Personally, I think it's impossible to eradicate bad habits but infinitely possible to...

... instill good habits.

We're all riders and elephants.

The idea of sitting atop an elephant and trying to get it to do anything seems impossible in my mind...

... good thing I'm a persistent sunuvagun.

If you're looking for a way to get control of your elephant, join our Posse...

... you have until the end of the month, 2/28, then enrollment is closed.


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