For all of the pieces of advice that I have been given one of the hardest to follow relates to my adventure racing coach who told me that when mountain biking downhill, “speed is your friend”. It just did not seem logical. I listened intently to his advice trying to understand but still I felt a tightness in my chest, wondering how I would ever be able to “just let go” and use speed to help me go better, to give myself a chance to navigate the downhill terrain. He told me I would just float over the rocks and bumps and it would be “easy”. That if I slowed down too much I would get caught in the ruts of the trail and would risk falling at any moment. The only way to prove him wrong (or right as the case may be) was to give his advice a try. And so I did – on many an opportunity (the Leadville 100 as the penultimate instance) I let go of the brakes, my safety net thrown aside, and I trusted his advice. And every time I did it, I succeeded. And after more than a few tries I realized that what he described worked. It worked because I had the ability, I had a sound strategy (that was designed to overcome obstacles) and I executed as well as I knew how.
And so I find myself now, along with my THPL buddies, on the journey to high performance. And with the idea of high performance as our “raison d’etre” we are sure to find moments when we wonder if we should press forward with an activity. Hesitation can creep in and we might contemplate a change of heart. With questions ranging from “am I capable” to “I am not interested” we need to work hard to develop a speed is our friend mentality. We need it so that we can get beyond that moment of hesitation and achieve the goal. Hesitation does not help – it compounds the problem. Seems, then, that before we go we need to build a plan that blocks out hesitation and instead provides us the confidence we need to execute like we know we can. The ruts are avoided and the rocks are our springboard for success, leaving hesitation for the non-THPL practitioners.
Loving life without hesitation