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Posted on September 24, 2018

On Saturday, September 29, 2018, I, along with over 30 other riders, will depart from West Cancer Center in Germantown, TN on a 5-day, 525-mile journey to Rosemary Beach, FL. The Ride 2 Rosemary supports the WINGS Supportive Care Division of the University of Tennessee/West Institute for Cancer Research.

I began my training for the ride in March of this year. This is my first blog describing some of the observations I’ve made about life and leadership preparing for the ride.

NOT ALL COMMITMENT IS EQUAL

The greater the journey, the more committed you have to be to take it. – John C. Maxwell.

A different level of commitment 

Preparing to complete a Saturday morning cycling event doesn’t require much prep. It’s important to be able to handle a bike “ok” and to have a very basic level of fitness. If you can’t keep up you simply fall off the back of the Peloton, let the group “drop” you, pull up your GPS and navigate your own way home.

Preparing to ride your bike 100 miles a day for 5 days with 34 other people who have committed to finish together is different. It requires months of training including numerous days and hours on a bike each week. It requires you to train on days you don’t want to and to participate in rides longer than are convenient or comfortable.

Before committing to the event I used to try to find the coolest time of the day to ride. I was convinced I should avoid riding in a heat index of 100+. This summer, when my schedule allowed, I tried to go during the hottest hours of the day to try to adapt to the hotter conditions we could experience on the southern part of the ride. It actually did get easier. I grew my capacity (a little) to exercise in the heat.

Growth happens outside our comfort zone and big goals create the tension we need to stretch beyond it. A commitment to big goals helps create a system for personal growth.

A different kind of commitment 

Nobody accomplishes anything significant alone. True success requires a commitment to relationships.

The word on my mind after leaving our final rider’s meeting is interdependence. This is our “next level” commitment to one another.

There are men who have ridden alongside me guiding my training and prep to help me be as ready as I can be. There are men who have been preparing for months to coordinate the logistics necessary to house and feed each of us throughout our journey. There will be support vehicles, a team of cooks and others traveling with us to make sure we have what we need when we need it.

As cyclists, we will have to stay in tight formation to benefit from drafting during the ride and pay close attention to our movements to maximize safety. We will have to focus on calling out obstacles on the road for those who are behind us and be mindful not to get overzealous in leaving anyone behind. The goal is not individual accomplishment but team accomplishment. When we win I win and vice versa. Together, I anticipate success.

It’s important to realize the bigger the goal the more committed we must be to to the success of others in order to achieve it. It’s essential to shift our commitment from “me” to “we.”

It’s easy to ride 50 miles alone. The same cannot be said for 500 miles in 5 days.

How big are your goals? Are they significant enough to require a dependence on others to make them happen? Or, have you kept them small so you can maintain control?

Are you frustrated by big goals you have not been able to accomplish? Is it possible the reason you haven’t realized them is that you haven’t fully committed to leaving your comfort zone? Or, do you need to increase your commitment to empowering, equipping and depending on others to help you achieve them?

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